Namcor Appoints New Interim MD as Search for Permanent Leader Continues

Namcor Appoints Interim MD Amid Ongoing Leadership Transition and Legal Proceedings

by Ikeoluwa Juliana Ogungbangbe

Namibia’s state-owned National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) has announced the appointment of Ebson Uanguta as its new interim Managing Director (MD), while the search for a long-term replacement for the former MD Immanuel Mulunga continues.

Uanguta, who currently serves as the Deputy Governor for the Bank of Namibia, brings a wealth of experience in economics to the role. Namcor expressed its excitement at having Uanguta on board, believing that his expertise will guide the company to new heights within the petroleum industry.

Previously, Uanguta has worked with the Namibia Economic Policy Research Unit and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) before joining the Bank of Namibia in January 2012.

Uanguta officially assumes his role as interim MD this week and is expected to serve in this capacity for a period of six months.

Public Enterprises Minister Ipumbi Shiimi has voiced his support for Uanguta, further cementing his appointment within the organization.

This change in leadership follows the removal of Immanuel Mulunga from the position of MD in April 2023, which was marked by internal strife within the company.

Namcor had accused Mulunga of various infractions, including proceeding with a business deal in Angola despite the board’s rejection of the proposal. A subsequent review of Mulunga’s conduct in June found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. However, his return to lead Namcor appears unlikely.

After Mulunga’s removal, Shiwana Ndeunyema was appointed as the interim MD in April. Namcor had initiated discussions with Lionel Matthews, the Managing Director of Nedbank Namibia, for the permanent role. However, Matthews declined the offer, citing potential implications for his personal image and family. Reports had suggested a conflict of interest related to oil depot construction, allegations that Matthews vehemently denied.

Ndeunyema, in his comments on LinkedIn, alluded to the challenges of leading during corporate crises and hinted at sharing insights into his professional and personal journey at Namcor after his tenure.

Notably, Namcor is actively pursuing Immanuel Mulunga to recover allegedly lost funds. The Namibian newspaper reported that Namcor was seeking the recovery of 53 million Namibian dollars ($2.84 million) associated with the purchase of storage facilities that were purportedly government-owned. The newspaper also revealed that Namcor was taking legal action against Mulunga over these allegations.

Additionally, concerns have emerged regarding the acquisition of a software system during Mulunga’s tenure, raising further questions about the company’s financial practices during that period.

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