By Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro
The Karas Abattoir and Tannery Processors (KAT) Chairperson and two directors have declined their reinstatement to the KAT board.
KAT Chairperson, Risto Kapenda, says that although he has not yet received the official letter of his reinstatement, he has informed the Government Institution Pension Fund (GIPF) Board Chairperson Hartmut Ruppel, that he is not interested.
Kapenda said it is against his principles to "serve a deal that has been signed un-procedurally."
This is a reference to the deal signed to sell KAT to Brukarros Meat Processor on October 26 by a new board the very same day Kapenda and his co-directors, Maru Tjihumino and Vilho Nghipondoka were removed from the board.
It later transpired that the dismissal of the KAT directors was illegal since the GIPF trustees never sanctioned their dismissal.
Consequently, it was found that the new board of Brian Finlay and Tega Shiimi, which signed the deal, was installed illegally.
New Era has now been waiting for around two weeks for clarification from the GIPF about whether the sales agreement reportedly signed by the new board is valid or not.
Kapenda further says he refused to be party to a deal forcing workers into unemployment with "no entitlements". This was against his union background, he said, adding that he believes in justice and fairness.
"I have better things to do serving my people, rather than betraying them," he said.
Both Nghipondoka and Tjihumino who confirmed receipt of the letters of reinstatement, also refused to be "used as pawns" in implementing a deal that had already been signed.
Particularly since they were not aware of the final provisions of the agreement.
They said one important aspect of the sales agreement was that KAT would be sold as a going concern, but as matters stood now the workers could soon be retrenched. They believed that if the GIPF was genuine about their reinstatement, it should have nullified the sales agreement reportedly signed with Brukarros.
They felt disquiet about the secrecy shrouding the deal, and the potential for serious flaws that might be uncovered as a result of the rushed sale.
"Between the bidding and the signing of the sale agreement" the two directors emphasised they had both agreed to recommended Naneni/Newco as the best offer for the takeover.
Then however Brukarros, a company which they had little information about, appeared on the scene out of the blue.
They still do not understand why the unseemly haste to sign was necessary, even to the extent of circumventing corporate governance rules by removing the KAT board without the sanction of the GIPF trustees.
This of course eventually led to the trustees nullifying the dismissal of the directors and reinstating them again.
The two directors who claimed not to have been involved during most of the negotiations for the sale of the KAT to Brukarros feel they would rather "stay out of the mess which the GIPF and its management" have created.
They were offered indemnity from any consequences that may arise from the sale of KAT to Brukarros.
They however raised other issues with the GIPF trustees before their removal at the end of last month, which GIPF has still not addressed thus making it difficult for them to resume their directorships.
In their submission to the GIPF Chairperson late last month just before their removal, they confirmed their commitment to the sale, partly or wholly, of KAT assets.
They also sought clarification from GIPF trustees about what would happen following the disposal of the assets fearing that they may remain as directors of a shell company, which they considered an undesirable situation.
New Era has been trying for two weeks now to get an explanation from the GIPF about the removal of the KAT directors.
The newspaper also inquired about the legality of the deal, particularly since directors appointed in breach of normal procedures signed the deal.
GIPF spokesperson, Maria Dax says the GIPF will issue a media statement on the matter. So far it remains a mystery exactly when the GIPF intends to enlighten the public on the matter.
Meanwhile, the legitimacy of the KAT board of directors remains in question, with the resignation of the un-procedurally appointed directors while the rightfully appointed directors are declining their reinstatement. New Era Reporter
2007-11-20 00:00:00 | 12 years ago