Erongo Red denies CEO recruitment flawed

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Erongo Red denies CEO recruitment flawed

Eveline de Klerk

WALVIS BAY – Erongo Red has maintained the appointment of their new CEO Tino !Hanabeb and the recruitment process were beyond reproach.

The electricity distributor yesterday afternoon issued a statement saying that they will welcome any competent authority such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to review and conduct an official investigation if any untoward action was conducted during the recruitment process. However, acting CEO of Erongo Red Claude Tjizo, in a statement, said the company strives to operate in line with good corporate governance principles and will not be commenting on the saga.

“The merits of that matter are sub-judice, hence we will not be commenting on it. It is unfortunate that the integrity of the process was put into question by a fellow board member. Erongo Red will at this point not make further comments on the matter,” Tjizo said.

The statement comes after one of the directors, Irene Simeon-Kurtz last week asked that the appointment of !Hanabeb be nullified. Simeon-Kurtz, in a letter addressed to the chairperson of the board Zoe Nambahu, said the recruitment process is flawed and that the former CEO, Fessor Mbango’s case could backfire.

!Hanabeb yesterday said he is looking  forward  to lead Erongo Red. “Today was my last day at Roads Authority. I am travelling to Walvis as we speak,” he said yesterday afternoon.

The position became vacant when the electricity distribution company’s board opted not to renew Mbango’s contract after his five-year term ended, leading to Hanabeb being appointed as his successor.

Mbango approached the court in an attempt to get his job back. According to the labour court documents, Mbango’s case was filed on 7 April and heard on 18 May and currently awaits judgement.

“!Hanabeb was not on the initial shortlisting of the candidates nor was all board members present at his interview,” Simeon-Kurtz said in the letter.

Tjizo also said the audio clips being circulated are fictitious and not a true reflection of the edited discussion in the audio recording. 

“All board meetings are recorded, and although we are still verifying the authenticity of the recordings, they appear to have been secretly and unofficially recorded during a formal remuneration committee meeting,” he explained. 

According to him, fixed-term contracts for CEOs are a common practice in most companies and is not unique to Erongo Red. 

“There was nothing unethical or incriminating in the audio, in contrast to what the originator tried to portray. Therefore, we hold the view that these allegations are baseless and intended to mislead people and stir negative emotions during this transitional phase,” said Tjizo.

The current board of directors apart from Nambahu and Simeon-Kurtz are Michael Skini, Richard Hoaeb, Leeroy Victor, Martin Tjipita and Sam January.