Staff Reporter Windhoek-President Hage Geingob has sometimes been travelling by commercial flights since late last year, in sharp contrast to recent wide-ranging media reports of abuse of transport privileges accorded to ministers and senior government officials. Geingob last week travelled on a scheduled flight from Windhoek to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the 30th ordinary session of the African Union (AU) Summit. The session ends today. Senior ministers Alpheus !Naruseb, Tom Alweendo and deputy minister Peya Mushelenga accompanied the Head of State to the summit and they too had to use scheduled flights, as Geingob elected to leave the presidential jet home. Presidential press secretary Albertus Aochamub said Geingob’s decision was taken in the interest of “curtailing and controlling travel related expenses”. Last week health deputy minister Juliet Kavetuna was roundly criticised for using her luxurious Mercedes Benz sedan to carry three bags of cement for construction work at her home in Katutura. She denied any wrongdoing. In December 2017, pictures supposedly of an official vehicle of chairperson of the National Council Margaret Mensah-Williams were taken in Cape Town, where she was allegedly on vacation with her family. It has not been confirmed if Mensah-Williams had obtained treasury authorisation as is required by law. Speaking to New Era over the weekend, Aochamub revealed that Geingob took his family on vacation to Cape Town in December using a scheduled commercial flight, although he is entitled to using the presidential Falcon or other modes of government transport on such trips. “This is no fluke or gimmick,” he said on Saturday. “The President has given substance to his statement theme for 2018 as the year of reckoning.” Aochamub said Geingob has “expectation” that others follow his example by handling public resources prudently. “This official trip was again undertaken by way of cheaper alternative with a smaller delegation to save limited public resources. It is an expectation that all Namibians follow suit and act most prudently with public resources,” Aochamub told New Era.
2018-01-29 09:00:35 7 months ago