Erongo RED CEO recruitment ‘above reproach’

Position disputed
According to Erongo RED the decision not to renew Fessor Mbango's contract, and rather appoint Immanuel !Hanabeb as the new CEO, was above reproach.
Adam Hartman
Erongo RED’s decision to not renew Fessor Mbango’s contact, and instead appoint Immanuel !Hanabeb as the new CEO of the company, “was above reproach”, the regional electricity distributed said in an official statement.

The statement was issued in response to content circulating on social media that make serious claims about an alleged plot to remove Mbango. The content includes a a letter (on an official Erongo RED letterhead) signed by a board member, Irene Simeon-Kurtz, who is an Usakos town councilor, which appeals for the withdrawal of the appointment of !Hanabeb as the newly appointed CEO. According to Simeon-Kurtz, the recruitment process was flawed and unlawful, and apparently disadvantaged other candidates for the CEO position.

!Hanabeb, is expected to assume his new role on 1 June, but in the meantime, Mbango has lodged a dispute with the office of the Labour Commissioner and the High Court respectively. Erongo RED does not want to comment on this as the matter is sub-judice. “We strive to operate in line with good corporate governance principles and we are transparent in all our company activities,” said Acting CEO Claude Tjizo. “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 contents of the letter, save to say that the recruitment process was above reproach.”

Tjizo said that, in the event there is an opinion that any untoward action was conducted, Erongo RED welcomes any competent authority such as the Anti-Corruption Commission to review and conduct an official investigation in the process.

Other questionable content on social media are audio clips that appear to have been secretly and unofficially recorded during a formal remuneration committee meeting. One of the functions of the committee is to review the CEO’s contract and to make recommendations to the board on whether or not to renew the contract. According to Tjizo, fixed-term contracts for CEOs are a common practice in most companies and not unique to Erongo RED.

He explained that an objective consideration of this confidential discussion highlights the impartiality of the chairman and other committee members in discussing how best to formulate the recommendation to the board regarding its decision to renew the contract or to terminate in accordance with its provisions. “We wish to stress that obtaining and releasing company confidential information without prior approval is an offence as per company policy. The perpetrator are not bona fide whistle-blowers, but due to unknown motives are attempting to discredit the company and the board. There was nothing unethical or incriminating in the audio, in contrast to what the originator of the clips 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,” he stated.

Attempts to get comments from Simeon-Kurtz were unsuccessful by the time of going to print.