ECB confirms suspensionsBy: SELMA SHIPANGA
THE Electricity Control Board (ECB) management has confirmed the suspension of two of its employees and the dismissal of one.
In an unsigned statement given to The Namibian, the company states that both the suspension and dismissal were done in line with the company’s administrative policies and guidelines.
“The ECB has documented recruitment and selection procedures/guidelines that it follows with respect to hiring employees and there is no truth in the allegations that senior employes mentioned in the media were allegedly appointed without suitable qualifications, credentials or experience,” reads the statement.
The ECB also condemned as unfounded alleged irregularities, including money reportedly given to some of the managers for overseas trips.
The Namibian last week reported on alleged irregularities at the ECB which led to the suspension of Shadreck Mwilima, the ECB’s public relations officer, and Martha Nyambali, an administration officer. It is alleged that the two employees misappropriated at least N$100 000.
The Namibian also reported on the firing of Cosmas Kamwi, an engineer at the ECB who is believed to have lied to the organisation about his qualifications, and that “questions have been asked about the validity of the qualifications of ECB general manager: finance and administration, Mara Kavendjaa Uazenga.
The ECB confirmed the suspension and said the dismissal was being appealed.
In addition, the weekly Informanté quoted “well-placed sources within the ECB” as saying that the chief executive officer, Siseho Simasiku, is apparently “running the ECB as his own private company.”
The Informanté article reported that Simasiku is “said to be determined to replace his personal assistant and public relations officer, Sedrik Mwilima, with his close friend and business associate, Fred Sekandi, a consultant appointed in January 2010”.
The article quotes a “credible source” as saying that the only known work produced so far by Sekandi was the “introduction of project-management modules, which were apparently downloaded from the internet”.
Approached for comment, Sekandi attributed these allegations to Mwilima and described them as “utter rubbish”.
“The existence of actors like Mr Mwilima is a direct consequence of our labour laws. The labour laws of this country are designed to conserve deadwood in the forest at the expense of the forest. If it was not for such laws, characters like him would be tending goats back in their village instead of tampering with tenders in corporate boardrooms,” said Sekandi.
Sekandi said Mwilima would be held responsible “for his actions and utterances, unless certified a psychotic with diminished culpability by a competent psychiatrist”.
Furthermore, the ECB maintained that it regularly procures the services of suitably qualified and experienced consultants with impeccable credentials, and dismissed as completely baseless and malicious the allegations relating to the hiring of unqualified consultants.
The Informanté article further referred to the “questionable qualifications” of the organisation’s general manager of finance and administration, who was “apparently given N$50 000 to pay for her ticket to and accommodation in the United Kingdom to attend the funeral of an aunt”, money she reportedly never paid back to the ECB.
In addition, Informanté claimed that the manager for legal services “was given N$100 000 in S&T fees to travel abroad on condition that she arrange and pay her own accommodation”, also money she reportedly did not repay to the ECB.
The ECB management condemned all the allegations as “untrue, malicious, baseless and frivolous.”
“It is clear to the ECB that a disgruntled individual has been spreading malicious information about the ECB and its staff with the intention to divert attention from the investigations currently underway at the ECB,” said the management.