NAC Defends Car Scheme

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By Chrispin Inambao WINDHOEK A vehicle scheme that is allegedly benefiting three managers at Namibia Airports Company (NAC) was strongly defended by the company, which says the trio are entitled to the vehicles because of the nature of their duties that are on a 24-hour basis. Despite denials by NAC’s management, it contradicted itself when its Corporate Legal Advisor Sacky Kadhila Amoomo yesterday admitted the scheme indeed existed. In a statement issued yesterday Amoomo stated: “pool vehicles were in fact allocated to the positions occupied by the employees in question due to operational requirements and the nature of the duties they perform. Nothing sinister surrounds this allocation. Their duties frequently involve travelling long distances and therefore the employees are on standby on a 24-hour basis.” “Questions were internally raised as to whether the above situation should prevail. These questions were internally addressed to the satisfaction of all parties, including the recognised trade union,” stated NAC’s Corporate Legal Advisor. He added: “Any NAC employee who for whatever reason remains aggrieved should address his or her concerns through appropriate internal avenues instead of ventilating the concerns through local media. It is indeed regrettable that certain sections of the media sensationalise what is essentially a benign internal matter.” When contacted on Amoo-mo’s statement, sources laughed off suggestions that the issue was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties. They said he was not speaking the truth. They questioned why, if the three are legally entitled to the scheme, it is not extended to other airport employees who spend more hours on their jobs than the three. Though NAC spent hundreds of thousands of dollars buying them vehicles under its cafeteria scheme, it also allocated Nissan Almeiras to the three beneficiaries on a 24-hour basis, reports say. One of the managers allegedly even went to the extent of removing a sticker displaying the NAC logo but workers in NAC’s transport section have since pasted back the logo. The three were identified as Gabes Muteka, the manager for technical services; Henry Ngenomesho, the senior airport manager at Hosea Kutako International Airport; and the third beneficiary was named as Dirk Booysen, the airport manager at Walvis Bay. Though the registration number of the NAC car availed to Booysen on a full-time basis was not mentioned, sources gave the number of the vehicle allocated to Muteka as N116706W, while the one being driven by Ngenomesho bears the plate number N97685W. Internal documents indicate that Muteka bought a Nissan Hardbody Double Cab 3.3, a 2005 model, for N$398 000. Despite employees objecting to the two-vehicle sche-me, one of the beneficiaries claims it is a global norm that airport managers are entitled to a dual vehicle benefit under one of the protocols governing the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). “Where is the accountability?” asked one of the sources that noted one of the managers is adamant he is not answerable to the company’s internal control measures. The scheme has been in existence since the time when Tukondjelanee Nghihalwa was the CEO. He resigned in the aftermath of a multi-million-dollar fraud that also resulted in several NAC managers being axed. Muteka said: “the board is dealing with the issue. I will only comment after the board has pronounced itself.” But company insiders are saying he has indicated that he will surrender the Nissan Almei-ra on condition the company pays him for every kilometre that he is on official duty. Booysen also said, “I am not gonna comment at this stage.” He referred all inquiries to Shikongo Haihambo (NAC’s Senior Business Development Manager). “He is handling the matter.” Ngenomesho was not available for comment.