When the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) saga unfolded last month, The Villager went underground and dug up shocking details of how its chairperson, Ndeuhala Katonyala is driving the company into the ground, making the whole restructuring process a farce.
Katonyala, a former finance manager at the NAC, was appointed the board chairperson in the summer of 2010, contravening the corporate governance policy, which states that no company should appoint a previous employee to sit on its board.
She had worked for NAC between October 2006 and April 2008 but left after she failed to land the position of general manager: finance, admin and IT.
The then CEO, Vemunjengua Kavari, the then GM HR John Mukoya who among others conducted the interview process, ‘found her unsuitable and did not see her as having the traits of an executive’, according to available records.
In addition, the interview team had also questioned Katonyala’s intimate relationship with a subordinate; hence they felt her judgment in executive functions would be questionable.
She then left for Leo as Finance Manager where she met Frieda Aluteni, then Leo’s HR Manager in 2008. At Leo, Katonyala received several warnings for insurbodination on Chief Financial Officer, Adnand Quddus and in some instances the board had to intervene as the two’s relations soured.
A year later, both were unemployed with Katonyala running her own chartered accountancy firm, while Aluteni, a victim of Leo’s restructuring process, started selling Asian suits until they were both called to join the NAC board.
The Villager discovered that when Katonyala assumed the NAC chairmanship in August 2010, she went on a witch-hunt, running the operational matters of the company and ignoring the strategic functions, in pursuit of her former superiors.
Mukoya has since been fired while Tobias Katjire, who had landed the GM: Finance, Admin and IT job ahead of Katonyala in 2008, was fired on February 9 this year; a day after arguing with the chairperson in a board meeting over her insistence that MTC iPads and 3-G Netman devices which line managers were using, be confiscated.
The gadgets were taken away and now heaped in Katonyala’s office yet the NAC is paying service fees to MTC.
Reasons for Katjire’s removal are ‘poor productivity and performance’.
For the first time in the history of the NAC, the company introduced a bursary scheme, which Katonyala is presiding over.
The board chairperson has also asked to see all the applicants who will be looking for jobs at the NAC in the restructuring process.
Katonyala, at the time of going to press, was in Dubai, together with Aluteni for a corporate governance workshop, which cost the company N$150 000, despite a similar workshop taking place in Johannesburg.
In corporate governance, naturally, the chief executive officer should travel to such workshops, as they deal with operational matters.