Reporter Must Leave Me in Peace

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Putting the Record Straight: “Ex-manager Sues TransNamib”

THE above heading appeared in The Namibian of Wednesday, February 2008 by Christof Maletsky alleging that, I Jason Hamunyela, am suing the transport parastatal for unfair dismissal. Such statement is not factual.

Unfortunately the reporter chooses not to contact me to verify and ensure balanced facts of his reporting.

It is true that I filed a complaint for unfair dismissal with the district labour court to ensure protection of my right to employment as a citizen, however, Mr Maletsky reported that he was informed by my lawyer Sisa Namandje about the case being set down at the labour court.

This is a blatant lie because my legal representative in this regard is G. F. Kopplinger from GF Kopplinger Legal Practitioners and not Sisa Namandje as reported and I never have any intention to utilize his service.

This reporter is claiming that I was charged with making huge overpayments to a security company in which I had interest. Such allegations are not true and it was never part of the charges levelled against me, therefore, I am challenging the reporter and his informers to come forward with concrete evidence proving that I have vested interest in the security company he is referring to.

Moreover, when misconduct related to the tender that was awarded to the said security company referred to was detected, I ordered an investigation and instituted disciplinary action against the then Chief Security Officer who was suspected to have committed the misconduct.

The disciplinary action resulted in the dismissal of the suspect employee when it was found that he had probable links with the security company that was awarded the tender.

If at all I had a vested interest in the said company, this could have been revealed during the disciplinary process of the Chief Security Officer as this was conducted substantively and procedurally fair.

The reporter further said that I granted a tender to a security company I had interest in. For your information Mr Maletsky, TransNamib has a Tender Committee that evaluates tenders and makes recommendations to the Chief Executive Officer who has the power to award tenders. Requests to pay for services rendered are processed through the General Manager: HR, verified by the General Manager: Finance, before being forwarded to the CEO for final approval and back to the Finance Department for payments.

Details are also revealed in The Namibian of December 2004 surrounding the appointment of a string of people close to me and the former TransNamib CEO. Unfortunately, this is what this reporter has been feeding the public along with his malicious and character assassination publicities.

During my tenure as GM at TransNamib, the power to appoint new staff was vested in the CEO based on recommendations by respective General Managers. In my recommendations for new appointments, I never recommended a person close to me, and if the reporter disputes this, I am challenging him to come forward with convincing evidence.

The other allegation cited by the reporter is that I used company property to conduct private consultancy. Although this was alleged it could not be proven during my disciplinary inquiry.

It was also reported that my invoice for an amount of N$22 000 to the RCC for consultancy work was attached to a series of documents. I must confirm that I did ad hoc consultancy work during my free time as is the case with any Namibian citizen with entrepreneurial acumen: however, I was never contracted by the RCC to justify an invoice to them.

Furthermore TransNamib has an access control system recording each and every employee’s entrance and exit at its head office building every day and as such during my employment I had clear access records which I am prepared to share with the reporter if necessary.

In the same article the reporter referred to the allegation that I raised my salary by 43.3%. This allegation is false, distorted and taken out of proportion.

To clear this distorted information, let me use the opportunity to give a brief background of my employment and career history at TransNamib and subsequent salary increase being referred to.

I joined TransNamib on 1st September 1998 as an Assistant Manager: Organization Development (OD) and was promoted to the position of Manager: Training&OD at the beginning of 2000 without salary adjustment.

Although the promotion had no monetary benefits, I accepted the challenge with dedication and commitment to work.

At the end of 2002, I was promoted to the position of General Manager: HR, once again without any salary adjustment since my promotion to the Manager: Training& OD position, but I accepted the challenge.

In approving my promotion, the then Board of Directors set a condition that my salary will be reviewed upon successful completion of an executive management development programme.

Beginning of 2003, I was nominated for the said programme offered by Stellenbosch University Business School and completed it successfully within six months.

My salary adjustment was approved in June 2004 by the CEO in consultation with the then Board Chairman, the late Dr Claus Dierks.

At the time of reviewing my salary all other General Managers in the company were earning N$324 240 a year. The adjustment or increase of my salary was necessary to create a balance and ensure equitable remuneration packages of executive managers, hence the 43.3% adjustment.

Last but not least, I am once again challenging the reporter and his informers to come forward with concrete evidence proving me otherwise in this regard.

It is not in my nature to express my unhappiness through the media or discredit others’ integrity, hence my silence since 2004 hoping that the negative publicity towards me would cease. However, this is not the case despite the fact that I have no employment relationship with any institution since my suspension in November 2005 and subsequent termination of my employment with TransNamib on the 1st December 2006.

This malicious and character assassination reporting humiliated me and discredited my integrity and causes unbearable stress to me and my family. I hope that the reporter has fulfilled his mission by now and therefore I appeal to him to leave me in peace.

J K Hamunyela

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