Rukoro’s appointment at Meatco under spotlight

WINDHOEK: While the future of Meatco and its operations are not yet finalized, top managment said the appointment of Advocate Vekuii Rukoro as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is in accordance with the law.

Meatco on Friday in electronic response insisted that it appointed Rukoro as the corporation’s next CEO as from 01 March 2013 in accordance with the Meatco Act, 2001.

“Meatco’s relationship with its stakeholders is informed by the law and, in the case of the Government, its recognition as an essential partner in determining the destiny of Namibia’s agricultural sector.

Meatco is a critical player in the meat industry and depends on the support of Namibian livestock producers wherever they farm and the markets as much as it does on the Government in order to secure the corporation’s ability to deliver on its statutory objects and to perform its role in the best interests of its livestock producer members and a sustainable meat industry,” the corporation said.

However, in a public announcement dated 28 June 2012 pertaining the final Cabinet Decision with regard to the ownership, operational structure and legal framework of Meatco, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa advised that the process and procedures to be followed in appointing a substantive CEO, as per Section 12 (1) and (2) of the Act, even though legally permissible, is not practically advisable, neither desirable at this stage of the corporation’s metamorphosis.

He then advised the corporation to appoint an interim CEO as per the provisions of Section 10 of the Meatco Act, 2001 if the contract of Meatco current CEO, Kobus van der Merwe expires before the process is completed.

However, Cabinet last year approved that the ownership of Meatco be vested in a sui generis co-operative with a majority shareholding of 70 per cent and the government with the golden share of the remaining 30 per cent.

The deadline for input from relevant stakeholders to Cabinet’s decision was set for 31 January 2013, but this process has not yet been finalised.

“The minister may, if and when the situation may so require, appropriately advise the Board to deal with the issue of the possible appointment of an interim/acting CEO as per the provisions of Section 10 of the Meatco Act, 2001,” the Cabinet announcement read.

Despite Meatco’s claim that it has followed the rules, Mutorwa is in disagreement about the way in which Rukoro’s appointment was done.

In correspondence between Mutorwa and Meatco’s chairperson Clara Bohitile, dated 05 February 2013 and seen by Nampa, the minister wrote “it appears strange that the public and intended official announcement of the appointed of the Meatco CEO has to be announced on the basis of information conveying his departure from his previous employer, and not directly by the Meatco Board of Directors through its Chairperson”.

“I get the unavoidable impression that my numerous well-meant written advice to the Meatco Board regarding the appointment of the next CEO has now been finally and publicly rejected by the Board,” Mutorwa stressed.

He also indicated that he only took note from Meatco’s annual report 2011/2012, that the contract of du Plessis will end early 2013.

Du Plessis has indicated that he will not be available for a further term.

However, in an earlier piece of correspondence dated 18 January 2013 between Mutorwa and Bohitile, the chairperson highlighted the importance of a properly managed change of guard at “this critical level of Meatco’s business and operations and the underlying urgency to secure this aspect of Meatco’s affairs.”

She said the corporation intended to engage Rukoro on negotiations on the basis of the terms and conditions set out with a view to finalise it by the end of the following week.

“Rukoro not only commands very significant support from Meatco farmer members, but also recognition as a former Attorney-General and member of Cabinet, a leading member of Namibia’s Constituent Assembly and a respected business personality in our country. You will agree that Meatco could not hope for a better or more suitable person to assume the position and responsibilities of Meatco’s next CEO,” Bohitile added.

WINDHOEK: The future of Meatco and its operations have not yet been finalised, but top management say the appointment of Advocate Vekuii Rukoro as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is in accordance with the law.

Meatco on Friday said in an electronic response to enquiries by Nampa that it correctly appointed Rukoro as the corporation’s next CEO as from 01 March 2013, and in accordance with the Meatco Act of 2001.

“Meatco’s relationship with its stakeholders is informed by the law and, in the case of the Government, its recognition as an essential partner in determining the destiny of Namibia’s agricultural sector.

Meatco is a critical player in the meat industry, and depends on the support of Namibian livestock producers wherever they farm and the markets, as much as it does on the Government in order to secure the corporation’s ability to deliver on its statutory objectives and to perform its role in the best interests of its livestock producer members and a sustainable meat industry,” the corporation stressed.

However, in a public announcement dated 28 June 2012 pertaining to the final Cabinet decision with regards to the ownership, operational structure and legal framework of Meatco, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa advised that the process and procedures to be followed in appointing a substantive CEO, as per Section 12 (1) and (2) of the Act, even though legally permissible, is not practically advisable neither desirable at this stage of the corporation’s metamorphosis.

He then advised the corporation to appoint an interim CEO as per the provisions of Section 10 of the Meatco Act, 2001 if the contract of Meatco’s current CEO, Kobus du Plessis expires before the process is completed.

Cabinet last year approved that the ownership of Meatco be vested in a sui generis co-operative with a majority shareholding of 70 per cent, and the government with the golden share of the remaining 30 per cent.

The deadline for input from relevant stakeholders to Cabinet’s decision was set for 31 January 2013, but this process has not yet been finalised.

“The minister may, if and when the situation may so require, appropriately advise the Board to deal with the issue of the possible appointment of an interim/acting CEO as per the provisions of Section 10 of the Meatco Act, 2001,” the Cabinet announcement read.

Despite Meatco’s claim that it has followed the rules, Mutorwa is in disagreement about the way in which Rukoro’s appointment was done.

In correspondence between Mutorwa and Meatco’s Board chairperson Clara Bohitile, dated 05 February 2013 and seen by Nampa, the minister wrote “it appears strange that the public and intended official announcement of the appointment of the Meatco CEO has to be announced on the basis of information conveying his departure from his previous employer, and not directly by the Meatco Board of Directors through its chairperson”.

“I get the unavoidable impression that my numerous well-meant written advice to the Meatco Board regarding the appointment of the next CEO has now been finally and publicly rejected by the Board,” Mutorwa charged.

He also indicated that he only noticed in Meatco’s annual report of 2011/2012 that Du Plessis’s contract would end early in 2013.

Du Plessis has indicated that he will not be available for a further term.

However, in an earlier piece of correspondence dated 18 January 2013 between Mutorwa and Bohitile, the chairperson highlighted the importance of a properly-managed change of guard at the corporation “at this critical level of Meatco’s business and operations, and the underlying urgency to secure this aspect of Meatco’s affairs”.

She said the corporation intended to engage Rukoro on negotiations on the basis of the terms and conditions set out, with a view to finalise it by the end of the following week.

“Rukoro not only commands very significant support from Meatco farmer members, but also recognition as a former Attorney-General and member of Cabinet, a leading member of Namibia’s Constituent Assembly and a respected business personality in our country.

You will agree that Meatco could not hope for a better or more suitable person to assume the position and responsibilities of Meatco’s next CEO,” Bohitile added then.

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