Resignations Rock TransNamib

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Transnamib has been rocked by the mass resignations of top managers. The resignations come barely a week after one of its general managers was fired on charges of maladministration and fraud, but are reportedly not connected to the case. The General Manager of Human Resources Jason Hamunyela, who was on full-pay suspension since last year November, was finally fired by the board. This week, two more general managers, the General Manager of Sales and Operations, Brian Black, and the General Manager of Finance, Leon Maree, tendered their resignations citing various reasons. The Chief Public Relations Officer Olivia Kanyemba also tendered her resignation, while the Company Legal Secretary, Silas Kishi Shakumu, is refusing to sign a new contract with the company. Black yesterday confirmed his resignation to New Era and stated that he has given notice to the board that he wants to quit the company early. His contract with the company is expected to come to an end in the second half of next year but he wants to leave early. Black indicated that he intends to go back to the private sector and his resignation has nothing to do with the firing of Hamuyenla. Kanyemba also confirmed her resignation and said her final day of work at the company will be December 31, 2006. Despite the fact that one of the charges against Hamunyela was the unprocedural appointment of Kanyemba, she said her resignation is not connected to the former GM’s dismissal. An officer at the HR department further confirmed the resignations and said that Maree, who is also on a contract which ends next year, just decided to go on early retirement. The officer also confirmed the issue of Shakumu and said the latter has so far not signed the new offer he was given by the company. He noted that Shakumu was appointed on a short-term agreement to assist the company in the many lawsuits it faces in the labour court. He added that Shakumu refused to sign the new contract because he is demanding a better one and has now enlisted the services of lawyer Andreas Vaatz. Contacted for comment, Shakumu said the matter is very sensitive and he does not want to make any comment in the press. He refused to confirm or deny the issue. The Chief Executive Officer of Transnamib John Shaetonhodi could not be reached for comment as he was attending a board meeting. Earlier media reports indicate that Hamunyela was found guilty on most of the charges against him and was only found not guilty on two charges. However, the board also gave instructions that follow-up investigations be done into the involvement of other staff members in his deals. He had the option to appeal against the dismissal but so far has not done so. He was suspended with full pay in November last year to allow a smooth investigation. The suspension followed a report presented to the TransNamib Board by the Office of the Ombudsman. The report, subsequently included in the report of the Office of the Ombudsman to the National Assembly, said Hamunyela made huge overpayments to a security company. He was also accused and found guilty of granting a tender to a security company he had interests in and inflating the figures after the tender was granted. In December 2004, The Namibian newspaper revealed detailed allegations surrounding the appointment of a string of people close to Hamunyela and Shaetonhodi. Among them was Cletius Sipapela, who was appointed as Security Chief and promoted to Security Superintendent exactly a month later. He was fired last year after he was accused of influencing the company to give a security contract to a company in which he had shares – the same charge for which Hamunyela was fired.

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