Ministry approaches ACC over Fishcor CEO hunt

A probe is underway on how a candidate, whose application was filed two weeks after the deadline, was shortlisted and even recommended for the job.

23 November 2021 | Local News

MATHIAS HAUFIKU AND JEMIMA BEUKES





The issues:

Ndara’s CV received two weeks after deadline

Ndara holds master’s degree with no undergrad qualification

Mungunda allegedly hired subordinate to run recruitment

Fishcor HR department sidelined

Jooste blocks entire process



WINDHOEK

The public enterprise ministry has asked the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to probe how Stanley Ndara, one of the candidates who challenged for the Fishcor CEO job, ended up being shortlisted after allegedly missing the application deadline and having questionable qualifications.

Ndara was recommended by the board to become the Fishcor CEO.

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste yesterday confirmed that his office approached the ACC to look into the matter.

“I have to admit that it is true but I can’t share more information as it may compromise the investigation,” he said when approached yesterday.

There are unconfirmed talks that the public enterprises ministry is planning to restart the entire recruitment process.

Some board members allegedly flagged Ndara’s presence on the shortlist after having submitted his application well after the deadline had lapsed.

According to information at Namibian Sun’s disposal, the 49-year-old’s application was received on 18 February, two weeks after the deadline.

There were also questions raised about his qualifications, with some questioning how he holds a master’s degree without any undergraduate qualification.

Ndara, who currently serves as the CEO officer of the Fisheries Observer Agency, yesterday said he is aware of the probe but refused to comment further.

“Apparently they are investigating; I will give no comment,” he said.

The board met in Windhoek on 4 February to draw up a shortlist of the applicants who had applied to lead the financially crippled and reputationally damaged national fishing corporation, which was allegedly used as a conduit in the Fishrot scandal to launder around N$75 million of public funds.

The Fishcor board members at the time of Ndara’s application were Mihe Gaomab II, Ruth Herunga, Milka Mungunda and Penny van Hal-Hiwilepo.

Ndara’s education profile

Ndara has years of experience in the fisheries sector, having served in both the public and private sector.

He holds several fisheries-related certificates, and a diploma in oceans law and policy.

He also holds a one-year Master of Arts degree in human resources management from Middlesex University Business School in the United Kingdom, which he obtained in 2006.

In 2006, Ndara submitted his qualifications to the Namibia Qualification Authority for evaluation.

These included a Standard 8 certificate, fisheries inspector certificate and his qualification from Middlesex University. All three were endorsed.

SSC conflict

The board also face allegations of conflict of interest after one of its members’ subordinates was handpicked to run the recruitment process.

Mungunda, who also serves as the CEO of Social Security Commission (SSC), was part of the team that endorsed the appointment of Yulanda Marais to manage the process.

Marais, at the time, served as SSC’s head of human resources.

She has since left SSC and joined one of Fishcor’s biggest competitors, Tunacor.

It is alleged that Gaomab and Mungunda were the only board members who knew about the Marais’ recruitment.

An official privy to the interview process said Marais outlined how the interview process would work and she was responsible to tally the scores.

Fishcor sources said the human resource department, led by Mansweta Joseph, was bypassed during the process.

“We only learnt about the outsourcing while the process was well underway; we were under the impression that the process would be done in-house. It will be interesting to know if there is even a board resolution to legally sanction the appointment of a recruitment agency,” said the Fischor insider who chose to speak anonymously.

Mungunda was tasked by her fellow board members to compile the questions for the interview. Some members, however, claimed they only saw those questions on the day of the interview.

Mungunda refused to comment when contacted yesterday and referred all questions to Gaomab.

Gaomab said the board maintains transparency, confidentiality and ethical pursuit to the process and wants the process concluded soon with authorities.

Marais did not answer questions sent to her.

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