12 December 2012

Namibia: Health Commission Report to Serve Before Cabinet

THE Presidential commission of inquiry into the state of the public health sector and a report on the salaries of the president and political office-bearers will be on the agenda of the last Cabinet meeting of the year today.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba met with all ministers at State House on Thursday before leaving for Tanzania, and at the end of the meeting informed them that the last Cabinet meeting would be today.

Just like at the Swapo congress and at the recent Cabinet reshuffle, Pohamba said the implementing of policies should be accelerated.

Sources say Pohamba told his ministers that outstanding issues would be discussed at the meeting – these include the investigation into the health sector and the recommended salary increases for political office-bearers.

Pohamba in August this year ordered the commission – chaired by retired High Court Judge Simpson Mtambanengwe – to provide feedback on their findings within four months.

The president said he wanted to see value for the money that the government was spending on the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

“I just arrived in the country and as far as I know, we don’t discuss Cabinet matters in the public,” Health Minister Richard Kamwi said on Monday when asked to confirm that the commission’s report would be discussed at the Cabinet meeting.

The Namibian reported last week that the outstanding report of the commission of inquiry seemed to have saved the job of Kamwi – albeit temporarily – when he escaped unscathed from the recent Cabinet reshuffle.

A report by High Court Judge President Petrus Damaseb, the chairperson of the Public Office Bearers Remuneration Commission (POBC), has recommended a 36% salary increase for the government top brass, according to media reports.

Damaseb recently said the commission had submitted a report with recommendations to President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the end of last month.

A media report recently claimed that the POBC report proposed a 36% increase for the president, ministers, deputy ministers, members of Parliament, regional governors and members of the Public Service Commission.

It is reported that POBC’s recommendation would increase the government’s payroll by N$30 million a year.

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