CEO Forum weary of unnecessary suspensions in public enterprises

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Eveline de Klerk

SWAKOPMUND – More efforts should be made to avoid unnecessary suspensions of parastatal CEOs as this not only tarnishes the reputation of such executives but also promotes insubordination among staff who work under them.
This was one of the sentiments shared by various chief executive officers (CEOs) heading parastatals, who attended the third annual general meeting of the Public Enterprises Chief Executive Officers Forum that took place last week Thursday in Swakopmund. CEO of the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, said that such suspensions are in most cases not done after proper consultation or within existing regulations.

“Some are even suspended for six months and then reinstated as if nothing has happened or with any explanation,” she said.

She added that such suspensions pose challenges for executives who not only have to deal with repairing their relationship with employees but also have to gain back their trust.
“Such suspensions really cause insubordination among employees as the level of respect also becomes a challenge,” she explained.

CEO of New Era Publication Corporation and chairperson of the forum, Dr Audrin Mathe, appealed to the Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste to enforce existing regulations with regard to such suspensions and dismissal of executive members.

“This is not to say that CEOs should not be suspended or dismissed. However, deliberate care should be taken to ensure that the integrity of such individuals and the institutions are preserved and not compromised,” Mathe said. Minister Jooste explained that the ministry responds to such cases within the provided legal framework and always advises board members against unnecessary suspensions.

“It is very difficult for the ministry to turn a blind eye to this issue, however we can only intervene as far as our legal framework allows us,” Jooste said.

Jooste also said that he is aware that such suspensions take place, especially when executives are about to complete their term in office.

“Why can’t they be investigated while they are still in the office so that the findings are handed over to relevant authorities? We always advise against hasty and unfounded suspensions,” he said.

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