RCC and Suspended CEO Settle?

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By Mbatjiua Ngavirue WINDHOEK According to reliable sources, the Roads Contractor Company and suspended CEO Kelly Nghixulifwa reached a settlement in the dispute between the two parties late Tuesday night. Nghixulifwa faced a disciplinary hearing brought by the RCC against him, but sources say they have now reached a settlement in the form of a so-called “separation agreement”. The terms of the agreement are still under wraps with lawyers for the two parties apparently busy formulating the wording of the separation agreement, after which they will release a press statement. Approached for comment yesterday, Nghixulifwa said he could neither confirm nor deny the two parties have reached a settlement. The RCC disciplinary hearing was marked by a surprising lack of tran-sparency in a country where the government regularly calls for greater transparency in public affairs. The disciplinary hearing was shrouded in secrecy with the charges against Nghixulifwa never made public, leading to widespread speculation in the media and among the public about the case. According to some unconfirmed media reports, the charges against Nghixulifwa included among other things improperly using an RCC order book to secure a discount on a Mercedes Benz luxury vehicle purchased for his wife. These same reports allege the company also charged him with granting human resource manager Brian Nalisa a large unauthorised personal loan from the company. There was also speculation that some charges may be related to allegations that Nghixulifwa committed the RCC to //Ae-Gams Engineering’s controversial B1 Motor City project without authorisation. According to one knowledgeable source, the RCC is now considering legal action against //Ae-Gams Engineering to recover N$9 million the company allegedly owes the RCC. People will be watching the terms of the settlement with great interest because Nghixulifwa still has a legally binding employment contract with the RCC. Depending on whether the RCC finds Nghixulifwa guilty of serious or only minor offences, he could lose only part of or all the outstanding salary and benefits he was entitled to under his contract.