18 December 2012

Namibia: Ithana Vows to Clean Up Home Affairs

NEW Home Affairs Minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana has called on staff to clean up the mess the ministry has been associated with in order to regain the public's trust.

She made the appeal last week at her first meeting with the ministry's staff.

Iivula-Ithana served as minister of justice from 2004 until the beginning of this month when President Hifikepunye Pohamba reassigned her to the Home Affairs and Immigration portfolio.

Public perception of the ministry is not so good. Many people complain about its incompetent or inefficient staff.

Delayed processing of applications for identification documents, birth certificates and passports, as the ministry's running out of blank passports, are just some of the complaints against the ministry.

Ithana said she was aware of the challenges facing the ministry and wanted to change the negative public perception of the ministry.

She further told her staff that they were all appointed to serve the Namibian people from the day a child is born until the day he or she dies. Therefore, according to Iivula-Ithana, life starts with Home Affairs and it ends with Home Affairs.

"I want us to do what the law allows us to do here and to make sure all Namibians get whatever document they are entitled to in terms of the law and on time. We are serving our children, old and young, and therefore we should do it with urgency."

She also advised her workforce to use the holidays to think about how to improve service delivery.

"Come next year, we should all take the gloves off and become brooms so that we sweep and clean up whatever needs to be cleaned."

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