- Prime Minister Hage Geingob announced this morning that recent oil exploration off the Walvis Bay coast has confirmed that the country has oil reserves, although not in commercial volumes.
Haimbili rejects TransNamib’s offer
Dismissed TransNamib CEO Titus Haimbili on Friday rejected a settlement offer by the company for a severance fee worth three months’ salary.
TransNamib offered Charles Funda, the company’s chief operations officer who, along Haimbili, was fired in April, a package worth one month’s salary, but the Zambian too turned it down.
The offers were tabled by TransNamib lawyer Frans Kwala at conciliation proceedings held on Friday, after the High Court refused to adjudicate on the matter and referred it to the Labour Commissioner.
Namibian Sun understands that Haimbili demanded reinstatement or, at the most, a payment equal to the salary of nine months that had remained on his five-year contract before his dismissal two months ago.
TransNamib has advertised Haimbili’s position already and, ironically, the deadline was the same Friday that the company and the two fired employees failed to strike consensus.
TransNamib Company Secretary Eugenia Taylor-Tjaronda is currently acting as CEO.
If TransNamib agrees to pay out the nine months that remained on Haimbili’s contract prior to his dismissal, the rail transport company would fork out no less than N$711 000, as the former CEO earned a net salary of N$79 000 per month.
The TransNamib board said Haimbili was fired for incompetence, but the former Telecom and Road Fund Administration (RFA) board chairperson believes he revived the company’s fortunes.
He now has the daunting task of proving claims of success while hoping that the fact that he was fired without being granted an opportunity to appear before a disciplinary hearing would legally count in his favour.
But in a proactive move, TransNamib is already in the process of appointing Haimbili’s replacement despite the pending case.
This might present complications if the Labour Commissioner rules in favour of Haimbili who is demanding reinstatement, unless the verdict is delivered after the supposed expiry of Haimbili’s contract.
After failing to reach common ground at Friday’s conciliation, the matter is now going for arbitration next week.
TransNamib wanted the arbitration to start in August, but after objections, it was decided that it would kick off on July 13.
While Haimbili was fired for alleged incompetence, the board stated that Funda was dismissed because of the supposed dubious manner in which he was appointed three years ago.
Approached for comment yesterday, Haimbili confirmed that the arbitration is scheduled for next week but refused to dwell on the matter.
“The arbitration is on July 13. If you need details, I suggest you speak to my lawyer,” he said.
Attempts to contact TransNamib board chairman Festus Lameck proved futile as calls and text messages to his phone went unanswered at the time of going to press.
Meanwhile, 100 open-top wagons which TransNamib purchased from Chinese company CSR Yangtze at N$67 million, have arrived at Walvis Bay last week.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is currently investigating this purchase after the TransNamib board opted to buy the wagons from the said company although the company’s tender committee had recommended purchase from CSR Maishan, which offered 125 open-top wagons and a comprehensive spares basket, at N$66 million.