Experienced leadership leaves METCO

Neil Terblanchi

Irreversible disagreements with the current management of the Namibian Meat Company (METCO) led to the immediate resignation of three members of the board of directors.

Board Chairman Jonny Hamann, Vice President Clara Bohetel and Kai Dieter Rampf, Board Representative for Commercial Farmers, resigned from their positions after the substantive Board meeting on May 27, 2021.

The reason for their resignation is the fundamental and irreconcilable differences between management and the rest of the Board of Directors.

The three immediately submitted their letters of resignation to Leon Jost, Minister of Public Enterprises.

Poehtel, who has served as Deputy Minister of Education for ten years, is also a prominent commercial grower.

In 2006, she was named Young Farmer of the Year by the Namibia Agriculture Federation.

At the end of her tenure as Deputy Minister of Education, she made history when she was elected as Chair of the Board of Directors of MITCO Corporation.

Meanwhile, the Livestock Producers Organization (LPO) issued a statement expressing its deep concern over the immediate resignations of the three board members.

“The livestock industry is a major contributor to the total agricultural production in Namibia,” the statement said.

According to the Local Purchase Law, the sector contributes on average about 45% of the total value of agricultural production, making it by far the most important sub-sector.

The Provincial Bureau of Workers noted that the value created led to increased employment, stabilization and maintenance of rural economies, thus restricting rural-urban migration.

LPO added that unstable and unsustainable livestock industry will lead to loss of livelihood of rural people in particular and loss of disposable income for rural communities will in turn have a detrimental effect on GDP.

“The recent series of events at our national export facility, MITCO, have negatively impacted overall confidence in the management’s ability to transform the state-owned enterprise into a competitive and sustainable business,” the statement said.

Producers are the main stakeholders in the value chain and without the support of MITCO the value chain will collapse, employment and tax revenue will be lost, livelihoods will be negatively affected and this will eventually have a negative multiplier effect on the rural and urban economy LPO has been added.

“The LPO is deeply concerned about the implications of these resignations,” the statement read.

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