NHE Boss Moves Out of N$600 000 Hotel

A SENIOR National Housing Enterprise manager who stayed at a four-star hotel in Windhoek for 30 months since 2011 incurring for the parastatal a bill of more than N$600 000 checked out a week ago.

NHE general manager of business development Willem Titus was staying at the prestigious hotel since November 2011 until 2 May this year.

“For the record, I can confirm that Mr Titus moved out of Safari Hotel on 2 May 2014,” NHE spokesperson Eric Libongani told The Namibian on Wednesday.

NHE was paying N$725 per night – including meals – an amount that translates to N$22 000 per month. The bill for two years and six months came to about N$600 000, which is equivalent to the cost of building at least two medium cost houses in Windhoek.

Libongani was commenting on the hotel issue after initially refusing to do so on the first report ran by The Namibian last month about the manager who stayed in the hotel for 30 months.

“It should be correctly noted that consequent to his permanent appointment on 1 March 2014, Mr Titus personally incurred the accommodation costs at the hotel for the months of March and April 2014 prior to his actual physical movement to his new home,” the NHE spokesperson said.

Libongani’s claims about Titus paying for the last two months’ stay at the hotel, which amounts to about N$44 000, could not be independently verified as sources at NHE insist that the parastatal paid the bill since it put him there. The Namibian has, however, verified with the hotel that Titus has indeed moved out.

Libongani declined to comment further about the dissatisfaction of employees over the hotel issue, saying perks for their staff members are an internal policy matter, which does not warrant external discussion.

“However, for the record, NHE like all organisations which subscribe to good corporate governance, has an accommodation policy that serves as a guideline on how accommodation and travels for its employees are managed across the institution,” he said.

According to sources, the senior manager’s annual remuneration is about N$650 000.

Titus was recruited in 2001 at Keetmanshoop and transferred to Windhoek to work as manager of business development in November 2011, a position he held in an acting capacity until March this year when he was permanently appointed.

He replaced Alex Shimuafeni who joined the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to take up the position of chief commercial officer.

Efforts to get comment from Titus were unsuccessful as his phone was unreachable.

Source : The Namibian