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No Takers for GIPF hot seat

by Chelsea Karamata


The Government Pension Institution Fund (GIPF) will, for the third time, advertise for the post of chief executive officer after failing to find a suitable candidate.

The GIPF top job fell vacant after the forced resignation of  Primus Hango over the Development Capital Project (DCP) scandal  which milked the fund of N$690m in defaulted loans.

Ellaine Mandi-Samson, the new GIPF Board of Trustees chairperson, has admitted that the fund’s most challenging task is to find a suitably qualified CEO.

 “The main challenge that faces the GIPF is to find a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to fill in the shoes of (Primus) Hango.

GIPF Manager Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Nashilongo, told The Villager that the Board of Trustees are still playing their cards close to their chest on the issue and have not called for any interviews yet, adding that the possibility of the third round of advertising is possible.

“ The process of recruiting a CEO for the Fund is very complex and we believe and trust that the trustees should be given enough time to deal with the situation in the best interest of its  members.  They must be accorded a fair chance and I do not think it is fair for the issue to be hyped by the media,” said Nashilongo.

He added that the Board of Trustees have not been leaving any lose ends on the matter and also noted that they are  dealing with the issue with open eyes and understanding the possible skill shortage in the country.

However, he revealed that the chances of the fund going beyond borders for advertising are limited adding that the hot seat at GIPF is most likely to be granted to a local person. 

“I also doubt that any interviews have been carried out so far. If they do, it won’t be anytime soon. I do not think it will be something that would be done secretly,  but the fact that the Board has not shortlisted anyone so far means they might be interested in getting the best talent available on the market,” Nashilongo concluded.

Those who have shown interest in the job are Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund CEO, Jerry Muandinohamba; Labour Commisioner Bro.-Matthew Shinguadja; Namibia Financial Services Association (Namfisa)  CEO Phillip Shiimi; current  GIPF manager for Corporate Communications and Public Relations Elvis  Nashilongo;  General Manager Regulatory and Consumer Protection at Namibia Standards Association Eino Mvula; and Maria Nakale currently General Manager Consumer Provident Institutions among others.

The Villager understands that although Shinguadja and Muandinohamba dominated the crop of applicants, none met the requirements.

GIPF represents 61% of the retirement fund in Namibia with a total membership of 72 000 people.

In an interview with our sister publication, Prime Focus, Mandi-Samson said DCP was a result of poor corporate governance in institutions and tables have changed now with GIPF adopting the latest corporate governance policies including the King Code III which is  used world wide to promote efficiency and sound decision making.

“DCP was not an ‘intentional’ mistake but a well thought through decision. Those people behind the DCP were competent people in their own right and  made their decisions  according to what they believed was the right thing at the time. People must understand that DCP was done during an era of poor corporate governance,” Mandi-Samson said.