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Air Namibia board resigns amidst claims of meddling

Air Namibia board resigns amidst claims of meddling

Staff Reporter


PUBLIC Enterprises Minister, Leon Jooste, has just confirmed that all four board members of Air Namibia have tendered in their resignations with immediate effect.


Willy Mertens tendered his resignation already on Monday, while the board Chairperson, Escher Luanda, alongside Heritha Muyoba and Alois Nyandoro resigned today.


No reasons were given for the resignations, according to Jooste.


The four resignations, however, come amidst claims that the relationship between the ministry and the board is a strained one.


Last Friday, the board reportedly entered into a settlement agreement with a Belgian company that was seeking Air Namibia’s liquidation if the national airline couldn’t pay its 9.9 million Euros debt.


Air Namibia board resigns Enterprises Minister Leon Jooste members tendered resignations
GOODBYE: Air Namibia Board Chairperson Escher Luanda is amongst board members who tendered their resignations this week. Photo: Air Namibia


The settlement agreement was entered into without a go-ahead from Jooste and Cabinet.


Jooste has maintained that government will not bail out the airline again by availing funds to suit the agreement.


Part of the agreement is that by 18 February 2021, Air Namibia should have paid N$104 million.


The board today accused the State-Owned Enterprises ministry of constantly meddling in its affairs and therefore making it difficult for the national airline to carry out its mandate.


The board of directors, in a statement this morning, said that the ministry has carried out a number of governance transgressions, including not briefing the board on the allocated 2020/2021 N$948 million budget by the finance ministry and cabinet.


According to the board of directors, the enterprises ministry to date has not briefed them about the funds disbursed to the company, apart from a monthly allocation for employees’ salaries.


The board was also unhappy with the ministry’s direct engagement with employees and trade unions to negotiate contracts while by-passing the board, amongst other reasons.


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