NTB investigates acting chief for alleged irregular appointments

Bonnie Mbidzo

The Namibian Tourism Board (NTB) is currently investigating allegations against its acting chief executive, Bonnie Mbidzo, for making several staff appointments without adhering to the board’s approval process and allegedly bypassing the company’s recruitment policy.

Board chairperson Janette Fourie told The Namibian the board is still processing the matter.

“The NTB confirms that it has received an anonymous letter. The matter is still being addressed by the board and the processes have not yet been concluded. Any report on this matter remains premature at this point in time. The board can assure you that it ascribes to the principles of good corporate governance and the highest standards of care and diligence,” she says.

The investigation came after a letter by NTB staff members was sent to Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) general secretary Petrus Nevonga, urging his intervention in the alleged irregularities.

The letter, dated 24 February, was also addressed to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism and the NTB board chairperson.

“Our complaints are that, without following the proper recruitment procedures, he headhunted and appointed the manager of human resources and the financial systems controller. He also headhunted the manager of marketing by offering a job to a certain lady who has no proper track record. Policy dictates these positions must be advertised, both internally and externally, up to two times and if unsuccessful, only then to headhunt. This was not done for these posts.

How can this practice be allowed and tolerated?” the letter reads.

Mbidzo has denied the allegations.

“The allegations are absurd and baseless. You can read from the text of the allegations that the author is a disgruntled individual,” he says.

Nevonga confirmed the matter, but said it is not for the media to handle.

“We are dealing with the matter here as a union, but it is not for the media to address it. We will deal with the matter here at Napwu,” he says.

Responding to the allegations, tourism ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said the ministry will not answer on behalf of NTB.

“We are not involved in the day-to-day operations of the NTB, there is a board of directors who can also provide guidance on the matter. We are a shareholder as a government,” he said.

Mbizo was appointed as the acting chief executive last December by the NTB board.

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