NWR Slams Media Attacks On Acting MD

The Acting Managing Director of Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR), Zelna Hengari, yesterday denied allegations of nepotism at the state-owned enterprise. This follows media allegations that she influenced the hiring of her half-sister, Marah Ngavetene, at the company as well as her (Ngavetene’s) recent appointment as the acting camp manager of Onkoshi Lodge.

NWR in a statement issued to New Era said Ngavetene joined NWR as a housekeeper on 7 June 2005, nearly a year before Hengari joined the employ of NWR in 2006. The statement, issued by the NWR’s public relations department, said the two women developed within NWR to their current positions and are highly qualified to do their jobs. Ngavetene holds a National Diploma in Hotel Management from the Polytechnic of Namibia, while Hengari has a Master’s and LLM in Economic Law from the University of Namibia.

“Ngavetene’s growth and development within the company has been transparent and meritocratic and is an opportunity afforded not only to her but also to three others at Namutoni, Dolomite and Sossus Dune Lodge resorts – internal staff members who have shown leadership and have been afforded an opportunity to prove themselves. Ngavetene is a substantive housekeeping supervisor at Waterberg Camp,” the statement said.

NWR’s Senior Manager of Human Capital, Sebulon Chicalu, says Ngavetene has over 20 years of hospitality and tourism experience and as such her selection as acting camp manager was through a transparent process. “Her half-sister, the acting managing director, had nothing to do with the entire process. By the way the lady in question and other three are still acting in these positions … . The camp manager positions (for Sossus Dune Lodge, Namutoni Camp, Onkoshi and Dolomite Camp) will be aertised and those that are acting will be eligible to apply and compete with others for the vacancies,” said Chicalu.

The statement also said it will clearly be unfair to Ngavetene and totally against good labour practice if she is denied an opportunity for which she is qualified and possesses the necessary experience simply because she is related to the current acting managing director, who in any case was not involved in her promotion or appointment. “I will never deny anyone an opportunity nor will I hesitate to terminate someone because of relations,” said Hengari in the statement, which also lashed out at some of the media for allowing to be used as peddlers of falsehoods, innuendos and unsavoury acts such as character assassinations. The statement also said it is a pity that certain media houses have reduced themselves to being “a platform for settling personal vendettas – it is obvious to all of us at NWR why Hengari is being targeted and by whom, especially now. People should have applied for the job of managing director of NWR and competed openly – the days of backstabbing and dirty campaigning for the jobs are over.”

Source : New Era