Traditional leaders in the Zambezi, Otjozondjupa, and the Kavango East regions are unhappy about the monthly stipend they receive from government.
They are now begging the government to consider a reasonable increment in line with the increased cost of living.
This is entailed in a report tabled by National Council chairperson Lukas Muha, who with his delegation recently visited the three regions as part of the council’s outreach programme.
According to the report, the concerns were raised by traditional leaders of Lusese, Masubia, and Mayeyi in the Zambezi region, the Kambazembi Royal House, the Ovaherero Traditional Authority in the Otjozondjupa region as well as the Shambyu, Gcriku and Hambukushu traditional authorities in Kavango East.
Currently, taxpayers are footing the bill of the government recognised diverse traditional authorities and their leaders.
Government pays a N$2 100 monthly allowance to each of the 51 recognised chiefs, and a N$1 800 monthly allowance to 306 senior traditional councillors.
It also pays a monthly allowance of N$1 600 to 306 junior traditional councillors, N$1 300 for each traditional authority secretary, N$1 000 monthly allowance for each traditional authority driver and a quarterly petrol allowance of N$3 000 to each recognised traditional authority.
In total, government spends N$20.6 million a year on traditional authorities. Besides allowances paid, between 2009 and 2016, government handed brand new 4x4 Toyota Hilux double cab vehicles to all 51 recognised traditional authorities throughout the country.
The vehicles are to help them carry out their traditional responsibilities in administering the affairs of their respective communities.
Additionally, government has embarked on the construction of 20 traditional authorities headquarters across the country to the value of N$9 million.
Traditional leaders have frequently come under fire from President Hage Geingob for wanting to be taken care of by the government instead of their subjects.
Equip community courts
Furthermore, according to the report, traditional leaders also requested the government to equip community courts with “proper” security protection during community court sessions, saying the sessions become unruly at times.
The report quoted traditional leaders as having said, “the traditional authority offices are not equipped with necessary equipment, such as computers or cabinets for safe keeping.”
Also, traditional leaders complained about messengers of court, who they said are currently not receiving any allowances to cater for calls they make on their mobiles when reaching out to suspects, offenders, and witnesses.
They also complained about the Namibian Police, whom they said do not take them seriously.