Save the Fishcor ship under siege

The resignation of Paulus Ngalangi, the final executive of Fishcor, which leaves the entity without an executive, paints a negative picture of a parastatal that needs urgent assistance to sail the murky Fishrot tainted waters.

In a further showing of desperate measures in difficult times, the interim four-member Fishcor board this week appointed one of its own, Ruth Herunga, as acting CEO of the troubled public enterprise.

The crisis that engulfed the entity this week is evidently a culmination of growing challenges that have hogged the corporation since it was hit by the Fishrot scandal in which millions of Namibian dollars were siphoned for private gain from the entity.

While much has been done to put the company back on positive footing, it is important now more than ever, for the board to move with speed to appoint an able new management that it will work in sync with to create a conducive environment for growth and stability which is contrary to what has been the case with the departed executives.

Confidente last week reported that after the managers at the parastatal late last year accused the board of suffocating the entity, being indecisive and amassing too much power by running the organisation as directors and chief executive officers, we have also seen how the board hit back and accused managers of unbecoming behaviour in which they take long unauthorised leave days at the expense of production.

So sour has the relationship turned that the board has in the recent past decided to exclude all senior managers from meetings, because they do not trust them.

It is high time that the parastatal was critically looked at with the view of creating a winning team in which the management executes the mandate of Fishcor while the board provides strategic oversight that is pivotal for the stability and development of the company.

This is especially imperative under the current climate in which the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Albert Kawana has shown confidence in the public enterprise by allocating more than 80 000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel quota to Fishcor for the current fishing season.

We all acknowledge that public enterprises are key vehicles for national economic development and for this reason alone, it is time to ensure that the right people are appointed on public boards and management committees of parastatals. This too, has to be done without continuing to demean our public enterprises to be fertile grounds for squabbles and those that seek to sabotage the economic contribution of public enterprises to the fiscus.

While we acknowledge the work of Public Enterprises Minister, Leon Jooste who is attempting to revolutionize the selection criteria for board members, policies must be enforced that govern the conduct and relations of the board and its executive management with key impetus given to functional and effective relationships.

It is time for Fishcor to attain full recovery and to be able to do that, the board and management should prime competency over petty politics and drive a common agenda that seeks to retain Fishcor in its rightful place as a key player in Namibia’s fishing industry.