Axed Titus to challenge NHE decision

15 December 2021 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE



WINDHOEK

Former business development and operations manager at the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) Willem Titus is set to appeal a decision by the parastatal to fire him.

NHE last week formally dismissed Titus after a protracted disciplinary hearing on the grounds of insubordination, saying Titus had failed to carry out an instruction by CEO Gisbertus Mukulu to make out a requisition for the filling of the position of regional manager of the west branch, which Titus had unlawfully and wrongly refused.

Titus was further found guilty of aggravated gross disrespect towards the members of the board of directors when he referred to them as “fools” during an executive committee meeting on 18 July 2019.

He was dismissed with immediate effect.

The merits

Arguing the merits of his dismissal, Titus said chairperson of the disciplinary hearing, who is not an employee of the NHE, did not have any right to dismiss him. Lawyer Profysen Muluti chaired the disciplinary hearing.

“The chairperson is not an employee of the NHE, and thus also not a member of the management team. The ‘conditions of employment’ do not provide for a deviation from the persons eligible to preside as chairpersons over hearings,” Titus stated.

The NHE is also being accused of not affording Titus the right to a reasonable opportunity to state his case during the investigation and that Muluti failed to conduct the proceedings in a fair and just manner.

“The chairperson was biased. He unreasonably and without justification ascended into the area and openly displayed bias towards the appellant employee in favour of the initiator and the employer,” Titus said.

No evidence

He further denied making disrespectful remarks towards NHE’s board of directors.

“There is no evidence that the appellant employee was insolent, aggravated or otherwise or that he was disrespectful.”

Titus was initially suspended with full pay in September 2019.

NHE only recently completed the disciplinary procedure, racking up high legal fees in the process, those close to the matter told Namibian Sun.

Titus was accused of failing to issue invoices for property sales at Ongwediva, which cost the enterprise N$10.4 million.

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