Namcor executive suspended for N$68m software failure

Bonifatius Konjore

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) has suspended its information and communication technology executive over a software system that is not fully functional, but has so far cost the company N$68 million.

Bonifatius Konjore was suspended with immediate effect on Monday.

Namcor yesterday confirmed the suspension.

“The decision to suspend Konjore is part of an ongoing internal investigation into possible misconduct. It must be noted that this development does not suggest guilt or wrongdoing, but rather a standard procedure to ensure a fair and impartial process,”

Namcor spokesperson Utaara Hoveka said yesterday.

The Namibian understands more suspensions could follow.

“I cannot rule out such a possibility,” Hoveka said.

The executive for finance and administration, Louis du Toit, will act in Konjore’s absence.

Konjore’s suspension comes two months after The Namibian reported that Namcor splashed N$68 million on a ‘misfiring’ software system.

Namcor awarded the software system tender in January 2020 to Green Enterprise Solutions to supply, instal, implement, test and commission an enterprise resource planning system used to manage day-to-day business activities.

Documents show that 13 companies competed for the tender, which Green Enterprise Solutions won.

Two companies, New Point Electronic Solutions and Virtual Technologies, objected to the tender and raised concerns over irregularities in the awarding of the tender.

Documents in possession of The Namibian show that the price of this tender escalated from N$23 million in 2020 to N$68 million in May 2023.

This was expected to increase, with Namcor having planned to spend another N$14 million by March this year.

This is according to an Excel spreadsheet prepared by Namcor’s Department of Information and Communication Technology.
It’s not clear whether Namcor paid the N$14 million before Konjore was suspended.

Konjore has maintained silence.

“I have already told you this. Even on suspension I am not allowed to speak to the media,” he said yesterday.

The move to spend N$68 million has irked staff members, with concerns being raised of higher spending on a malfunctioning system.

An Excel spreadsheet seen by The Namibian shows over 70 complaints from employees in several departments at Namcor.

These complaints, lodged since May 2022, include grievances over incorrect payments due to the software system.

They also involve oil depot users being unable to amend order quantities when there is a gain, and notifications not going through to specific users, resulting in difficulties separating sales update batches per company.

“All these batches need to be approved on a daily basis. If batches are not approved, we will encounter discrepancies with transactions,” the complaint of one Namcor employee reads.

Other issues raised include pricing, trading budget not loaded, sales volume by customer and per product, as well as budget hold release warning messages.

Namcor’s suspended managing director, Immanuel Mulunga, signed the contract in December 2021, alongside Green Enterprise Solutions’ chairperson, Llewellyn le Hane.

Mulunga in January said he was not aware of the challenges.

“I have been on suspension since April 2023, so I am not aware of these challenges. The correct people to ask is the current leadership of Namcor,” he said.

In December 2023, Green Enterprise Solutions’ managing director, Kehad Snydewel, denied any wrongdoing and claimed there was no price escalation, despite The Namibian being in possession of evidence contradicting this.

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