Shilimela refutes exploitation claims

• BY MARX ITAMALO

PROMINENT northern businessman and security company owner Banda Shilimela has refuted claims of employing exploitative and unfair labour practices saying those that are throwing the allegations at him have political and tribal agendas.

Responding to questions from Confidente about the allegations embroiling his security company Shilimela Security Services this week, the business mogul said those making the allegations are not his employees but individuals paid by his competitors and detractors to drag his company’s name through the mud.

He furthermore said they are jealous of his business success.

“At this point I want to assure the whole Namibian nation that people who are talking about these issues are not members of Shilimela company as we have evidence of people who are not working for this company caught red-handed calling on radio programmes and spreading falsehoods against the company.”

According to him, several people that are not employed by his company were caught and admitted being paid to make false allegations of unpaid wages in order to tarnish his image.

“They were taken to a police station and made declarations that they were supplying false information,” Shilimela said.

The businessman said his success has also led to people in other regions to start a tribal war with his company which saw some of his employees being physically harmed or even killed. He cited an incident in 2010 where one of his employees was killed by a mob because he was not from that region.

“In some regions some people have declared that they don’t want to see companies led by people from other tribes operating there and as a result came up with strategies to prevent the so called outsider companies from operating there,” he stressed highlighting that is contrary to the Procurement Act 15 of 2015 which permits Namibian registered companies to bid for jobs anywhere in the country.

Shilimela seethed at the fact that he had worked hard to be where he is now as a businessman yet some people had been attacking him without cause.

“As a successful entrepreneur, many people instead of being inspired by my success and start emulating me, they started calling me names and making wild and false allegations against me as a person.”

It is against this background that Shilimela has decided to offer every employee who claims not to have been paid for the past six months N$1 million. According to him, the worst and false allegation to hit him was that he did not pay some of his security company employees for six months from August 2021 to January this year.

“In order to see who is lying and who is telling the truth, I have decided to put money to pay whoever is claiming not to have been paid for six consecutive months,” he stressed.

Shilimela said anyone claiming not to have been paid can go to a nearby police station, make a declaration to that effect and hand it in at any of his company’s 29 branches countrywide, and the money owed plus the N$1 million will be paid.

Alternatively, the aggrieved party can approach any legal representative, draw up a signed affidavit, send it to company office and the money owed, the N$1 million and lawyer fees will be paid in 24 hours. This offer is also open to anyone that has proof of somebody owed a wage by the company, he further said.