International relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has defended the usage of a government car with a driver by the former executive director in the ministry Selma Ashipala-Musavyi.
Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) president Mike Kavekotora asked the international relations minister in the National Assembly last week to explain the alleged usage of a government vehicle and driver by the former executive director while receiving car allowance.
Ashipala-Musavyi retired from her position in 2020 before she was posted as Namibia’s High Commissioner in Ghana and Nigeria.
Nandi-Ndaitwah responded that Ashipala-Musavyi was appointed by the ministry on 1 June 2013, and as part of her benefits, she qualified for a vehicle allowance as well as the running cost.
She said the former ED followed all the public service rules.
“Due to her health condition, the executive director applied to the secretary to Cabinet requesting permission to use a government vehicle and a driver instead of her receiving the motor vehicle allowance as required by law. In her letter dated 15 October 2013, she requested the secretary to Cabinet to “exempt her for now from receiving the motor vehicle allowance for management cadres and instead use a suitable official vehicle and a driver,” she clarified.
The Office of the Prime Minister, in a letter dated 27 May 2014, signed by the undersecretary, communicated the recommendation of the Public Service Commission deviating from the provisions as provided in the Public Service Staff Rules (PSSR) to the executive director.
These deviations included the allocation of an official vehicle, the retention of the capital cost of the motor vehicle allowance and the suspension of the running cost of the vehicle allowance.
The minister maintained before the authorisation, the former ED received both the vehicle allowance and the running cost.
“The running cost however immediately ceased after the approval from the Office of the Prime Minister,” she clarified.
Therefore, she dismissed information that a driver was appointed for the executive director is not factual, adding the driver referred is an employee of the ministry who was employed long before the appointment of Ashipala-Musavyi.
According to her, there was thus no extra cost incurred by the ministry in terms of the usage of the driver.
Equally, she said, the vehicle being referred to is part of the pool vehicles of the ministry and remains so.
“No remedial action will be taken since the former executive director followed the correct procedures when she approached her employer requesting for permission to utilise a government vehicle and also to be exempted from receiving the capital cost of the motor vehicle allowance,” she noted.