WINDHOEK- Namibia Wildlife Resort (NWR) Managing Director Zelna Hengari has been placed on suspension following allegations that she contracted the company to a public private partnership (PPP) with Sun Karros Lifestyle Safaris without necessary approval.
Particularly, Hengari was sent home as precaution that she may temper with evidence and witnesses necessary for the investigation against her.
According to information at New Era’s disposal, Sun Karros is said to have constructed 20 glamorous tents, a restaurant, small pool and 10 campsites at NWR’s Sesriem campsite to the tune of N$43 million.
“The reason for your suspension include but not limited to the possibility that you may interfere or temper with witness evidence or with investigations or furthermore, that there is prima facie proof that you indeed entered into contract with Sun Karros and further, the same was not in adherence with the provision of the Public Partnership Act 4 of 2017,” reads the notice of suspension directed to Hengari seen by New Era yesterday.
Her suspension, according to the notice dated 18 April, was effective last week Thursday - with full salary and benefits - until further notice, pending the outcome of the investigations into the suspected irregularities.
Hengari’s suspension follows a meeting by the board members with Public Enterprises Minister Leon Jooste and his deputy Veikko Nekundi.
Resolutions of the meeting memo seen by New Era, dated 5 April 2019, partly reads: ”In the interest of NWR, the meeting resolved for the Minister of Public Enterprise (MPE) to overrule its earlier recommendation to NWR that Zelna Hengari (ZH) be suspended on condition that the two processes run pararell to each other. Negotiations commence for ZH to be given an early termination letter and that the disciplinary process against ZH commence.”
Furthermore, the resolution reads that Jooste should consult Minister of Environmental and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta on the said resolutions passed by the public enterprises ministry, after which the ministry will communicate its decision in writing.
Hengari when contacted for comment yesterday told New Era that she was still considering legal opinions.
Hengari earlier this year received a letter from the NWR board that her contract will not be renewed when it ends on 15th July this year.
New Era at the time reported that lawyers representing Hengari have sought answers on the manner the company has resolved not to renew her contract.
Sisa Namandje, her legal representative, at the time accused the board of having not applied its mind on the matter and also did so without a fair and comprehensive review and assessment of her work.
The board is further not entitled to take such kind of decision on a round-robin resolution and acted irrationally and in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution, Namandje argued at the time.
The lawyer advised the board not to take any action in pursuance of its notice to Hengari, as she was still consulting counsel for final advice on the legality of the notice and remedies that she might have.
Matthias Ngwangwama has been appointed as the acting managing director for the duration of the investigation.
2019-04-24 09:06:25 4 months ago