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 Nascam board accused of bullying employees

2023-02-03  Paheja Siririka

 Nascam board accused of bullying employees

The Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (Nascam) board has been accused of bullying and side-lining employees, scrapping birthday bonuses, not employing a new CEO, and getting rid of an employee without notice, among other things.

“There are no benefits at this office,
and we are sacrificing ourselves to do all the work for the artists. Birthday bonuses were removed recently, and we were not informed about it. I am telling you, we don’t even have pension here,” said a disappointed Gabriel Amugongo, who has been at the society for 25 years.

The new board was elected in April last year and comprises Knowledge Ipinge, who was re-elected; Steven Naruseb; Erna Chimu; Sula Kyababa; Dice Edo Lutete; McDonald Vihanga and Elvo Diergaardt.

Amugongo, who is the head of licensing, further said the manner in which things are done is demeaning, as they are informed of board resolutions without consultation. Lelly Nelumbu concurred with Amugongo, saying she has been in the administration department for 27 years, and recent treatment by the board is excruciating and painful.

“We are being told to go (resign) if we do not like the new resolutions. There is discrimination and threats we are experiencing. These things are painful,” said a frustrated Nelumbu.

She stated that the board has taken over the administration, and they are not attending to the needs of the company  - like getting facilities for the office, and “we are short of electricity, among others”.

“I honestly don’t like the way they are treating us and talking to us. They are taking over everything, and we don’t get it,” she lamented.

Supervisor Florence Haoses said there is no way a board can randomly decide on the affairs of an institution without consultations.

“The way they are doing the administration part – they removed everything, and everything is in the hands of the board. They are the ones now dealing with payments, and we are reporting to them; this includes the smallest thing like a fused or broken bulb,” she said. Haoses stated that the board took over without assessing how the various departments do their daily work. 

“We are here to work for the artists; we are not here to eat the money. If we sit and do nothing, we are not going to get paid,” she noted.  Haoses added there are things they also want to change as staff, and they were insisting on working together with the board. On his part, Ipinge, as board spokesperson, told VIBEZ! the main focus now is to increase revenue to be able to distribute more royalties to members as opposed to entertaining luxuries like birthday bonuses.  “I should also clarify that the board is fully responsible to negotiate, entering into agreements, transacting and arbitrating on behalf of the society as well as making executive decisions in general on all administrative matters,” he said.

Ipinge added the board is busy working on a new strategic plan, which will include more viable perks like performance bonuses. “This will serve as a motivation to increase productivity within the society and for employees to work harder to achieve specific goals as part of the board’s strategic vision.”

Regarding the threats that some workers should resign if they do not agree to the new directives, Ipinge said any act of insubordination will be dealt with accordingly.  “As a board, we won’t be entertaining any ultimatums and threats from employees because a platform was granted to them to air their grievances. We expect them to follow due processes if they are unhappy with some of the resolutions passed.”

 In terms of the management structure, he said, the board communicated to the employees regarding the way forward, adding that they have assigned some executing and supervising responsibilities of the CEO to one of the seniors and experienced employees, who reports regularly to the board’s chairperson and vice chairperson. 

“As for the plans to hire a new CEO, the board resolved to establish an independent CEO Recruitment and Selection Committee, guided by the terms of reference, setting out the responsibilities, authority and operations of the committee. The process is ongoing – and within the next few days, we are expecting our consultants to publish the vacancy advert.”

On the dismissal of one employee, Ipinge said a resolution was also taken to close the northern office when their rental agreement came to an end at the end of January this year, and the employee was informed. 

John Max, who held the CEO position at the society for more than 10 years, resigned late last year.


2023-02-03  Paheja Siririka

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