Meatco board should serve its interests – Mutorwa

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SWAKOPMUND, 20 February 2017 - Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa. (Photo by: Paulus Kiiyala Shiku) NAMPA

Petrus Muronga

Windhoek-The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, has implored the new board of the Meat Corporation of Namibia (MeatCo) to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations which could result in damaging the corporate image of the company.

Mutorwa, who made the appeal on Tuesday in Windhoek when announcing the new board, said board members as well as farmers in general should be well acquainted with agricultural matters and work in the spirit of the MeatCo Act of 2001.

Newly appointed board members are Stephanus Oosthuizen and Mushokobanji Mwilima. The other members Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun, Ronald Kubas, Ismael Ngangene and Sophia Kasheeta also served on the previous board.
The term of the new board is to run until 2020.

The minister said the new board should know that the powers vested in them and their duties and those of the chief executive officer are not the same.

“The board shall be the governing body of the corporation,” stressed Mutorwa.
The minister expressed confidence in the team and noted that he expects them to carry out their national duties and legal responsibilities individually and collectively.

“The board is accountable to the line minister and I am reporting to the President, Cabinet and Parliament representing the people of Namibia.”

Mutorwa said a chairperson could not be elected because one of the members, Namundjebo-Tilahun, had not been present at the required meeting as she was in the United States of America writing examinations.

He added that election of the chairperson would be done on Monday when Namundjebo-Tilahun would have returned from the US.

The minister appointed the board following legal advice on the reappointment of board members.

Mutorwa invoked the Meat Corporation of Namibia Act 5, 2001, Section 4, which clearly stipulates that if nominations are not received by the minister within a specified period of time from concerned interest groups, the minister may appoint such persons.

Therefore, the minister appointed the board after legal advice from the Attorney General, although allegations surfaced that procedures were not followed.

Mutorwa explained that on January 4 there were no board members but through consultations with the Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste, and lawyers, he was advised to invoke the Act.

He added that following the August 12, 2016 meeting which was cancelled in absentia of a chairperson, the nominees of board members that were made was not valid according to the legal requirements and the power vested in him to appoint board members.

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