PRESIDENT Hifikepunye Pohamba is said to have attempted to resolve the standoff between the Mines Minister Isak Katali and former NamPower chairman Leevi Hungamo, but to no avail.
Sources in the know told The Namibian that Pohamba tried to settle differences between Hungamo and Katali upon receiving the minister's planned Cabinet submission which recommended the removal of the former chairperson from the board of NamPower.
Pohamba is said to have resolved the dispute and it was also agreed that Katali would retract his submission.
To both Pohamba and Katali's surprise, Hungamo resigned.
Sources said Hungamo's resignation letter was not delivered to the minister immediately because there were those who felt he could be asked to rescind it. This is apparently because the two had a similar skirmish last year over the same issue of which project between Kudu Gas and the Erongo coal project must receive priority.
At the time Hungamo is said to have threatened to resign but was convinced not to.
Some believe he had delivered his resignation at the time but changed his mind before it could be handed over to the minister.
Katali on Thursday confirmed that he had received Hungamo's resignation letter but refused to comment further.
Hungamo also denied any knowledge of a meeting with Pohamba regarding the issue.
Hungamo resigned as NamPower chairperson on February 26, but his resignation letter only reached his appointing authority's desk on Thursday.
He said that he resigned because "as an independent director I found my role impossible".
In his resignation letter Hungamo said he felt the board was not allowed to direct the company.
"Since 2012 the shareholder representative [minister] made it impossible for me to carry out my duty as a chairman," he was quoted in The Namibian as saying.
Katali had planned to replace Hungamo with Maria Nakale-Gaomas but his presentation to Cabinet never took place.
The minister wanted to tell the Cabinet that Hungamo favoured the Erongo coal project instead of the Kudu gas project, which was a government priority, while Hungamo and the board decided to keep the Erongo coal project as the short-to-medium-term priority while making the Kudu gas-to-power project a long-term priority.