Top NBC Manager Resigns

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By Chrispin Inambao WINDHOEK THE cash-strapped Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC)’s management crisis is set to worsen with the departure of long-serving senior manager Rector Mutelo whose resignation as General Manager for Marketing and Sales takes effect from tomorrow. The magnitude of the NBC crisis only came to the fore when Gerry Munyama resigned as NBC boss. He was arrested after being implicated in a criminal scheme involving N$346 000 through the so-called Executive Account to which he had exclusive access. After the resignation last month of Munyama, his favourite sidekick, Ruben Prinz, the General Manager for Technical Services, was suspended for tender irregularities. Several managers at the NBC say the relationship between Munyama and Prinz whose disciplinary hearing is scheduled for Thursday this week was overtly a “juicy one” as it created uneasiness among those occupying senior management positions. New Era was informed by impeccable sources that the relationship between Munyama and Mutelo was frosty because one of the two ridiculed the competency of the other. “It was not a warm one. It was a very cold one, just like the one between Munyama and (Teofe) Karipi (the General Manager for Administration and Human Resources),” said a reliable source still in the employ of the public broadcaster. Meanwhile, a warm farewell party was hosted for Mutelo, 48, at the main NBC offices in Windhoek last Friday by staff members and other people who wished him well. Yesterday, Mutelo who was the most experienced manager in the executive management at the public broadcaster confirmed he tendered his resignation on November 2 before the current management and the financial crisis at the NBC made newspaper headlines. Mutelo worked his way through the various ranks in the broadcaster’s forerunner the South West African Broadcasting Corporation (SWABC). In all, he worked for 24 years for the two entities. The outgoing general manager for marketing and sales joined SWABC in 1981 as a junior announcer and in 1986 he was promoted to the position of senior producer in Windhoek before being transferred to Katima Mulilo. In 1990, he was elevated to the position of an assistant manager at Lozi Service where he worked for only two months before another appointment in August 1990 as senior manager, mandated with transforming the then English Service into National Radio. In 1994 he took leave to do his Masters in Media Management in Boston in the USA. Upon his arrival from America, he was promoted to Controller: Radio Services in 1996. In October 1998 Mutelo was again redeployed to head technical services at the broadcaster with the mammoth task of transforming technical services. He oversaw the transformation of the analogue system to a digital system. Among the radio stations he converted from analogue to a digital system are the ones at Katima Mulilo, Rundu and Oshakati and now the exercise continues in Windhoek. Plans are in the pipeline to install FM transmitters at Keetmanshoop and at the coast. He was also in charge of phasing out noisy medium and shortwave transmitters that were replaced with FM transmitters across the country. Apart from being noisy, medium and shortwave transmitters are also expensive to operate and they are appropriate for people using receivers outside the host country’s borders while FM transmitters are cheap, very clear and recommended for transmission to radio receivers within the country’s borders. “Firstly I think I have done my part, I think I have finished my mission. Last year, I was given another assignment to introduce some effective internal processes at marketing and sales. I am through with that process. At the moment, sales at NBC have improved greatly,” he told New Era. “I decided to move on. For now I am just going on holiday. I think next year, I have to weigh my options,” he ad- ded. In his farewell speech Mutelo appealed to the NBC to use media freedom with “absolute responsibility and avoid self-censorship in our stories. We must not take sides, but reflect issues as they stand. Therefore, the NBC needs leaders and staff who are honest.” He feels an honest approach would facilitate an efficient, committed and dedicated broadcaster that is committed to public interest and has a clear purpose and vision. “Remember! To those whom much is given, much is required,” he told his colleagues.

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