Works permanent secretary Willem Goeiemann could not confirm or deny whether the Zimbabwean professionals who were exempted from registration procedures in Namibia are properly registered in their own country.
"They have to be registered in their country," Goeiemann said, adding that the ministry was investigating to establish whether the 29 Zimbabwean quantity surveyors and architects were indeed registered with relevant and appropriate bodies in Zimbabwe.
Namibia and Zimbabwe entered a five-year memorandum of understanding in 2012 through which 97 Zimbabwean professionals were to come to Namibia to work in government, as well as train Namibian architects, quantity surveyors as well as civil, structural, electrical and mechanical engineers.
One of the requirements of the MoU was that the Namibian government assist the Zimbabweans who were already registered with professional bodies in Zimbabwe to register with similar bodies in Namibia.
A recent decision to exempt Zimbabwean professionals has not gone down well with local professionals, who claimed that only one architect amongst the 29 Zimbabweans was registered in Zimbabwe.
Although Goeiemann said the skills transfer took place as per the MoU, Namibian professionals disputed this yesterday, saying most of the Zimbabweans still needed training themselves.
Goeiemann defended the special treatment afforded the Zimbabweans by claiming that they would save government money spent on external consultants as most of the work would be done in-house by the Zimbabwean expatriates.
Goeiemann also claimed there were not enough Namibian quantity surveyors and architects.
The president of the Namibian Council of Architects and Quantity Surveyors (NCAQS), Kevin McNamara, said at Monday's media briefing that the council had accepted the proposal for a special registration of Zimbabwean profesionals in 2014. He said the work of the specially registered expatriates would be monitored and regulated by the council.