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NBC in fix over expensive 'idle' managers
The Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) is in a predicament after failing to get rid of four former general managers and as a result, the State-owned entity continues to foot an additional N$6 million in salaries per month.
The question of duplication of tasks came about with the appointment of the new ‘chiefs’, but a specially designed job description for the former GM’s to differentiate their roles from the ‘chiefs’ earlier this year by the Director General Albertus Aochamub did not work.
Since the appointment of the new five chiefs, the NBC is now coughing up an additional N$6 million of its already large wage bill totalling at least N$75 000 per person (for the five chiefs) as a monthly salary.
According to the preliminary financial statements of the NBC for the 2011/12 period, overall Employment Related Costs (ERC), or the wage bill, has increased to N$142 million, which Aochamub considered as only marginal when he made them known this year.
Thus far, the work done by the chiefs did not change in content, as the former GM’s are also periodically asked to execute the same tasks, which in fact are their current roles.
If re-deployed and with no clear reporting line and new responsibilities, the GM’s are likely to retain their positions, of which the work content will be the same as the chiefs, thus relegating the Chiefs to mere paper pushers since they report to Aochamub. This now leaves the door open for the former GM’s to have their demands met after Cabinet resolved earlier that they should not be fired.
On top of that, an apparent strategy by NBC management to frustrate the four GM’s by leaving them in the cold with no specific duties, hoping they would quit voluntarily, also fell flat.
The four managers whose titles have been abolished are Umbi Karuaihe-Upi, General Manager Marketing and Corporate Communications, Menesia Muinjo, General Manager Commercial Services, Theo Karipi, General Manager Special Projects and Claudia Ikela, General Manager Radio Services.
Their positions have since been retained for at least a year now despite the fact that Aochamub appointed four new ‘chiefs’ who were supposedly or currently doing the same job as the GM’s.
The current chiefs in charge are Vezenga Kauraisa for Human Capital, Alex Shimuafeni for Commercial, Audrin Mathe responsible for News and Programming, Aldred Dreyer for Technology and Jantje Daun for Finance.
At the moment, the GM’s are believed to be idling as the new Chiefs have taken over their roles, while the reporting line is also not clear.
That aside, the NBC management, with Aochamub as chief negotiator, must see if it can satisfy the demands of the GM’s for now as negotiations have reached a critical stage.
A source indicated that the GM’s are demanding a market-related salary and want to retain the same benefits they had, especially the lucrative car and housing allowances.
They also demand that they should be given an option to either accept or reject any proposed new roles the corporation might come up with in regard to their re-deployment.
A union representative for the affected employees, who requested anonymity due to the ongoing talks, said NBC management must also come up with a new line of reporting, as the current GM’s do not necessarily report to the ‘Chiefs’.
“They must come up with a clear-cut line of reporting and must specify in great detail who does what. We are trying to avoid a situation of clashes in the reporting line where people will be dissatisfied with their new roles in the end,” he said.