NWR Staff Exposed in NaTis Scam

AN investigation into a questionable appointment at Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) led to the unmasking of a syndicate selling drivers’ licences at NaTis offices in Windhoek this year.

The Namibian has learned that the Anti-Corruption Commission stumbled on the scam while probing the appointment of Ester Ndilula, the NWR manager for marketing at the company’s meetings and conferncing facilities as well as tour planning.

The ACC received a tip-off about the irregular appointment alleging that Ndilula does not meet the requirements for the job as aertised.

Part of the allegations also said Ndilula bought a driver’s licence.

The aertisement flighted in July last year stated that the candidate should have a degree in marketing or a related field a relevant Master’s degree as an aantage a minimum five years professional experience proven working knowledge of marketing management and experience in the hospitality and tourism industry as an distinct aantage.

Ndilula allegedly does not have any of these required qualifications although she worked in such a department before as a junior officer, according to NWR sources, who also said Ndilula worked at a local hotel as a junior employee.

According to the sources, the ACC became suspicious when Ndilula was chosen ahead of her seniors who meet the minimum qualifications and who also have the required academic qualifications.

NWR acting managing director Zelna Hengari said the company has a transparent and competitive recruitment process and that Ndilula, like any other newly-recruited staff member went through that rigorous process.

The Namibian has, however, learnt that Ndilula’s alleged improper appointment has taken a back seat while the ACC probes the licence scam. Lawyer Sisa Namandje who is defending Ndilula yesterday said there was nothing untoward.

Namandje confirmed that the ACC interviewed Ndilula last week over her appointment and that she is currently studying towards a qualification.

“It is not corruption for an organisation to appoint someone based on experience and not what the aert said,” Namandje said.

The lawyer further said he is challenging the ACC to produce all the posts it aertised to prove whether all of its appointments were strictly in compliance with their aerts.

Namandje claimed that it was a daily occurrence for companies to appoint people who do not comply with the aertised requirements.

“My client did nothing wrong regarding the licence. We will defend it in court,” he said.

In a statement last week, the ACC said it has uncovered 19 licences obtained through the scam and that four NaTis employees have been implicated, with one already arrested together with two people suspected of being middlemen have also been arrested.

Sources, however, told The Namibian that the figures could be as high as 30 licences sold this year, and about 10 NaTis employees have been implicated.

The Roads Authority did not respond to questions about the scam sent last week.

NWR sources have said that Hengari has launched an internal investigation to sniff out the whistle-blower.

Hengari, however, denied the claims, saying: “I am not investigating any staff member at NWR for leaking information to the ACC. Your sources must provide you with proof to that effect. On the contrary, I encourage our staff members to report instances of malpractice.”

She also said people at the company abuse such rights to settle personal scores and pursue private vendettas.

Source : The Namibian