10 July 2018

Namibia: Nguvauva Paid While Out of Office

Former deputy minister of works Kilus Nguvauva confirmed that he was on the state's payroll for four months after leaving the government in 2015.

Nguvauva told The Namibian in an interview last week that he received a salary from the works ministry from November 2015 to April 2016 after his term ended in 2015.

Popular Democratic Movement parliamentarian Nico Smit brought up the issue of Nguvauva receiving a salary, despite being out of office.

Smit asked Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila in the National Assembly last week to explain why the former deputy minister was still on the state's payroll.

The parliamentarian claimed that Nguvauva was paid about N$4 million between 2016 and 2018 as a salary of N$116 000 per month.

However, Nguvauva refuted Smit's claim, saying he only received N$116 000 as a once-off payment from the ministry in lieu of "the money they wrongly deducted from my retirement package after I left office".

"It is not correct that I have been receiving payment per month from the ministry. I have never received any salary, apart from that once-off payment that was made in May 2017. What I am currently getting per month is my pension from the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF)," he said.

According to him, the payment for four months happened in 2015 when he lost the Swapo primary elections and failed to make it onto the parliamentary party list. He claimed that in September that year, he had written to the President, "who is the appointing authority, to indicate to him about what happened so that we could find a way forward".

"Unfortunately, there was no response from the Office of the President. At the same time, I also went to the GIPF to tell them that I was no longer a deputy minister so that they could prepare my retirement package, and I signed the papers for it on 8 November 2015."

The same papers, Nguvauva claimed, were supposed to be signed by the human resources' department at the works ministry, but "they refused to do so unless they got something from the appointing authority indicating that I was no longer a deputy minister".

"I could not just get out of office since the President appointed me, so I remained in office," he said.

Nguvauva added that the human resources department at the ministry only signed his papers in March 2016 after receiving a letter from then-presidential affairs minister Frans Kapofi, who stated that "I was not supposed to be in office because I had lost the primary elections".

The former deputy minister also claimed that after his papers were signed, an amount of N$107 000 was deducted from his benefits because "they said I had been overpaid since I was not supposed to be in office for that period".

"I was paid for November, December, January and February. But I was not happy because it was not my fault as I could not just get out of office without the directive from the appointing authority," he reasoned.

He claimed that the money was later paid back into his account in May 2017 after he had filed a case with the labour commissioner and a complaint with the Office of the Prime Minister.


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