Asheeke shown the exit door
Environment and Tourism Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has reportedly fired Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Board chairperson Jackie Asheeke, amidst widely-held rumours of a relationship that has gone sour in recent months.
Namibian Sun is informed that Asheeke was shown the door this week, a claim she could not confirm nor deny when approached for comment yesterday.
“As of now, I am still chair of the Board of the NWR,” Asheeke said in e-mail correspondence yesterday.
Confiding in this newspaper, sources at the State-owned tourism operator said the dismissal is done and dusted and what is pending is making it official.
It is not exactly clear what led the usually composed Nandi-Ndaitwah to wield the axe, but sources in both management and the board of the NWR said the drastic step has its origins in the way the affairs of the company have been run.
The NWR has been without a full-time managing director since former MD Tobie Aupindi left that position in late 2010 to go into private business.
Several managers served in the position as the search for a new boss dragged on, until Daniel Nghidinwa, an official in the Ministry of Trade and Industry was appointed to act.
Netumbo Ndaitwah was contacted for comment on the issue yesterday but her phone, which she said had a flat battery, went off before she could comment. SMSes left on her phone afterwards were not answered at the time of going to press.
The NWR faces serious financial problems and has been in the press lately for a number of alleged corporate governance transgressions, but the exact cause of Asheeke’s sacking remains unknown.
Her husband, Ambassador Hinyangerwa Asheeke, is also said to be heading for the chopping block at Air Namibia where he serves as board chairman.
Avoiding to concretely answer talks of her dismissal, the NWR chairperson said: “I do not mean to be evasive, nor obstructive. I never do that. I merely answer what has been asked of me, no more, no less.”
Even when a follow-up e-mail was sent to her to confirm or deny whether she has been shown the door, the flamboyant American-born Asheeke remained evasive.
An NWR source yesterday said: “The chairperson was fired on Tuesday. We are told that Epsom Jossop will be acting as chairperson.”
The current NWR board resumed office in January 2010 for a three-year term.