AR Activist Ntinda in Namforce double jeopardy

By Confidente Reporter

DEFIANCE by August 26’s insurance subsidiary, Namforce to deal with the ‘unacceptable’ double employment of its managing director/ principal officer, MbushandjeNtindaas per Namfisa directive, may lead to losses of millions of military pension funds if the company is deregistered, Confidente has learnt.

Confidente understands that Ntinda,who doubles as a partner and legal practitioner at Sisa Namandje & Co. Inc. and enjoys protection from some Namforce board directors was asked by defence minister Peter Vilho to either resign his job as a lawyer at the firm or choose to be a full-time principal officer at Namforce where he earns N$1.7 million annually with full benefits.

Sources have said that Vilho’s insistence on Ntinda to comply with Namfisa’s directive has attracted the ire of Affirmative Repositioning activist-in-chief Job Amupanda who in recent weeks has unleashed a public spat on Vilho likening him to the late Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha.

Ntinda is a known AR activist who has been the prime legal representative for both Amupanda and AR.

Documents seen by Confidente show that apart from Namfisa CEO, Kenneth Matomola telling the defence ministry that a decision had to be made to ensure that Namforce has a full time principal officer “to perform the functions of the insurer in the best interest of the public,” he also raised concern in respect to ‘excessive management expense’.

“Namforce reported a high expense ratio year-on-year of 120 percent of Gross Premium Income. The norm in the insurance industry is to have management expenditure ranging from 15 percent to 30 percent of Gross Premium Income,” Matomola said in the documents in part.

Hefty Salaries

At the heart of Ntinda holding on to power at Namforce is an annual salary totalling approximately N$1.7 million. Documents seen by Confidente show that the company’s top four that include Ntinda, finance manager Tertu Mutota and IT manager Krasmir Dimitrov rake-in in excess of N$4.7 million which is 20 percent of the total annual company income.

Of these top managers, Namfisa has also noted that three are in breach of their contractual obligations as contained in clause 2.1 of their employment agreements which reads, “The employee guarantees that he/she is competent to carry out the services to occupy the position stipulated in clause one herein.”

Documents further warn: “Namforce is de jure a public enterprise but de facto it is indeed a public enterprise. Therefore, it is prudent for its remuneration framework to be pegged against that of other public enterprises. Evaluated against other public enterprises, Namforce will be classed a Tier 1 company. Against this background, its remuneration framework is grossly overinflated and needs to be adjusted drastically.”

Confidente has it on good authority that one of the matters arising from a joint meeting held by the August 26 and Namforce boards in September last year was for the Namforce board to provide a report to the August 26 board on how the company intends to address excessive management expenses.

Ntinda, Amupanda bromance

Since AR became a reality, Amupanda has on various occasions bragged of having deployed one of his AR activists, Ntinda to represent the poor. In 2015 Ntinda and another lawyer Kadhila Amoomo were the accompanying lawyers when AR met with President Hage Geingob and struck a deal to service 200 000 plots after AR had threatened government with unspecified action if they did not allocate land to youth by July 31 that year.

Ntinda was then deployed by Amupanda in a court case between the City of Windhoek and what Amupanda termed “the poor of 7 de Laan informal settlement of Windhoek” in 2017.

“Activist Mbushandje presented supreme logic in the Windhoek High Court. As a result, the City of Windhoek was forced to withdraw its application and committed to paying the legal fees of our legal team,” Amupanda wrote in a Facebook post on November 1 2017.

Among a host of other matters in which Ntinda represented AR and Amupanda, he was one of the members on the board of lawyers for the People’s Litigation Centre (PLC) which is an arm of the AR. Other members include Amoomo and Henry Shimutwikeni with the lawyers involved in offering pro bono legal services to the community.

Ntinda is also a colleague of Amupanda’s wife Taimi Ileka-Amupanda who is a senior associate at Sisa Namandje & Co. Inc.

More anomalies at Namforce

With legal implications facing Namforce, Confidente has also been informed that Head of Legal in the defence and veteran affairs minister, Helena Amutenya-Petrus is allegedly conflicted as she is also in double employment also serving as the company secretary for Namforce. Amutenya-Petrus pockets N$120 000 per annum and nearly N$6000 per sitting for her role at Namforce.

Clarifying this, Amutenya-Petrus said that there was no conflict as she is only an independent contractor at Namforce.

“Before I went to Namforce I declared my interests and got approval from my former executive director and cleared all conflict of interest. I don’t know of any law that I am violating,” she said.

However, the Defence Ministry told Confidente that there was no approval from the Ministry or Public Service Commission.

Defence speaks

Executive director in the defence ministry, Trephine Kamati this week said that in 2020, the ministry tasked the board of August 26 as the shareholder of Namforce to ensure that all concerns raised by Namfisa are resolved as recommended.

She went on to say that the appointment of the principal officer is the responsibility of the board of Namforce.

“The ministry as the ultimate shareholder has entrusted the appointed boards (being the board of August 26 Holding Company (Pty) Ltd and subsequently the board of Namforce) with the mandates as outlined in the Namcode and that includes the mandate to appoint the executive managements of the companies,” she said.

In view of the high wage bill she commented: “The ministry tasked the board of August 26 Holding Company (Pty) Ltd to address the matter, and by November 2020, the ministry was assured that the Namforce board has incorporated curbing of expenses in its strategic plan and the company is currently working on measures to bring the institutions expenses within the generally acceptable limits.”

Efforts to get hold of Ntinda were fruitless as Confidente tried to call him many times without reply. Confidente also sent him multiple messages -SMS and Whatsapp- but he did not respond. Confidente further sent Ntinda an email which was not responded to at the time of going to print.

Amupanda had indicated that he wanted to share his side of the story but when Confidente tried to reach him multiple times, he did not offer any response blue ticking messages on Whatsapp. His mobile rang unanswered until the time the paper went to print.