Rukoro keeps mum on his suspension

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Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek-Advocate Vekuii Rukoro was tight-lipped yesterday when approached for comment on his recent suspension as Meatco chief executive officer.

Responding to questions by New Era on the sidelines of a meeting at State House yesterday dealing with the 1904-08 genocide, Rukoro only responded by saying: “Watch this space,” before walking off.

Meatco board chairperson Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun last week confirmed to New Era that the board took a decision to put its CEO on forced leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Rukoro had been placed on special leave pending the outcome of investigations into decisions taken at the national meat corporation during his tenure.

Namundjebo-Tilahun did not disclose much information on the matter, saying it is internal issue and cannot be discussed in the public domain.

“Yes, the board decided to put Rukoro on indefinite administrative leave pending an investigation, [the details of] which I cannot disclose to you now, as it might jeopardise the investigation,” she said last week, while being emphatic that the suspension was not personally motivated by her as board chairperson.

In a widely circulated WhatsApp message, Rukoro described his suspension as the continuation of a “witch-hunt of last year against me”.

“They decided to put me on so-called administrative or special leave for an indefinite period in order to investigate non-existing charges against me,” said Rukoro in the WhatsApp massage last week.

Rukoro said the board’s action is patently unlawful and he would not leave it unchallenged. “The reason for my suspension is that I identified and recommended Mr Katjomuise to be appointed as a livestock agent for Meatco, and somehow through his actions he caused a loss to Meatco of just below N$300,000,” Rukoro wrote.

“I did not interview the man for the job. I did not appoint him, he was never managed by me as CEO, nor was he accountable to me,” he said in his response on WhatsApp.

He said the forensic investigation report by Ernest & Young relied upon for his suspension does not contain a single finding or recommendation that the CEO was to be held liable for Katjomuise’s losses, or that any action be taken against him.

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