New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: SPYL Balks At Proposed 31 Percent Adjustment

Windhoek — The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) has appealed to President Hifikepunye Pohamba to reject the proposed 31 percent salary adjustment for public office-bearers.

The principals pf the Public Office-Bearers Remuneration and Benefits Commission on Tuesday announced during a media briefing that they have recommended a 31 percent adjustment to the salaries and benefits of parliamentarians, the members of the National Council, regional councilors and the chiefs of the uniformed services, among others.

Should the proposal be approved, the adjustments for 239 public office-bearers would cost government approximately N$45 million.

"We expect our humble President to reject this proposal of flamboyance. Should there be any evidence of a need for salary increment, then it must be set at 8 percent, the same 8 percent given to civil servants after protracted bargaining," read a statement issued by SPYL spokesperson, Job Amupanda.

The youth leader says Pohamba should ascend the pedestal of moral leadership by rejecting the recommended adjustment.

Amupanda went on to say that should this increase be approved, the message to the poor, the unemployed and the destitute is that only politicians have a future in Namibia.

"Despite the fact that Namibia with its small population is scandalously certified as one of the most unequal nations on the face of the earth; despite high level of unemployment and poverty; despite socio-economic hardship; a tiny minority of 239 politicians (ruling party and opposition politicians) are set to march on the path towards enrichment, accumulation and conspicuous consumption," said the statement.

Amupanda further condemned the commission's claim that public office-bearers are not reasonably remunerated, while their current salaries range from over N$1 million to just under N$500 000. The proposed adjustments would hike the annual salaries to almost N$1 million on average for every public office-bearer.

"[The commission] proposes that the already poor and suffering Namibians must part ways with N$45 million to make possible the luxurious 31 percent increase for the salaries of politicians," Amupanda said, adding that it will only escalate the national debt.

"While civil servants had to go and rely on strikes to advance the case of their poor salaries, risking their jobs and having the security and judicial system set on them, the politicians simply relax, sit in their air-conditioned offices and wait for those serving them as appointed by the establishment to propose their luxurious increases," Amupanda charged.

"[The commission] provided weak, if any, evidence to advance the case of accumulation of the establishment that delivered them to the commission," he added.

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