NHE’s Titus dismissed after lengthy process

09 December 2021 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE



WINDHOEK

The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) has finally concluded a disciplinary process involving former business development and operations manager Willem Titus.

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, people 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.

He was assigned to manage and supervise the construction and sale of houses at Ongwediva but allegedly failed to do so.

When approached for comment, NHE spokesperson Eric Libongani said the parastatal would respond at an appropriate time.

“I wish to mention that NHE is seized with this internal human capital matter and, as such, it is not - at the moment - in a position to divulge the status of the issue until at an appropriate time,” he said.

Just following orders

Titus’ legal representative Samuel Philander said an appeal would be set into motion.

According to him, Titus had, during cross-examination, questioned whether NHE CEO Gisbertus Mukulu suffered from memory loss after he had asked Titus to carry out an instruction.

“The CEO could conveniently not remember that he required Mr Titus to, amongst other things, make an unauthorised payment and that he [Mukulu] then threatened him [Titus] when he refused to,” Philander said.

“He denied this until he had been confronted with the actual and relevant documentation,” he added.

Mukulu is further accused of instructing Titus to hand over a house to a politically connected individual.

During cross-examination, the CEO admitted that Titus had not acted with malice towards the NHE.

Huge loss

As the head of the business development division, Titus allegedly failed to ensure that the division had a system for invoicing customers or commercial banks for house sales.

“The accused employee failed to manage and supervise the northern regional manager and his team during the implementation of the Ongwediva extensions 2 and 14 and, as a result, the occupants of NHE houses were given possession of houses without occupational rental agreements having been entered into pending the conveyancing process,” the disciplinary charge sheet read.

Money has been outstanding since 2013 or 2014, and tenants occupied NHE property without paying rent, it said.

NHE said it has “reason to believe that [Titus] is guilty of the misconduct of dereliction of duty and gross negligence resulting in monetary losses to the employer in the amount over N$10.4 million.”

Titus was also charged with insubordination for allegedly failing to fill the vacant position of regional manager for the NHE's west branch.

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