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Govt will not break Air Namibia promise

2021-03-12  Roland Routh

Govt will not break Air Namibia promise
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Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste has indicated employees of troubled Air Namibia would receive their full severance packages at the end of this month. 

According to Jooste, government will also pay the promised ex-gratia to the value of 12 months’ salary to each employee in a single lump sum. 

“I have instructed officials from the ministries of public enterprises and finance to meet as soon as practical to clarify the modalities whereafter we will ensure that full implementation takes place,” Jooste told New Era. 

Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi also assured lawmakers in the National Assembly yesterday that government will not renege on its promise of providing ex-gratia payment to Air Namibia employees. 

Earlier this week the Namibia Cabin Crew Union instructed its lawyers to seek clarity on modalities government was going to employ to pay them their 12 months’ salaries. 

In a letter to Shiimi, the aggrieved members of the union said they were informed by the liquidators of the airline – Bruni and Mclaren – that the last salaries will be paid out at the end of March of this year and that any other amounts they feel entitled to should be submitted as claims to the liquidators. 

They further stated that according to an undertaking the government would pay an ex-gratia payment to the employees of 12 months. However, they said, from a response by Theo Mberira, the then interim CEO of the liquidated airline, government can make payments to the employees on an ex-gratia basis, but that the payment will not be made to Air Namibia. 

The cabin crew further said the members of the union have arranged their personal affairs in line with the undertaking and the legitimate expectations created but now about one month after the commitment and undertaking were communicated the members have not received any indication as to the modalities of the commitment. 

The Windhoek High Court last month placed Air Namibia under provisional liquidation. This followed an application by the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) for compulsory liquidation. High Court acting Judge Kobus Miller issued an order to show cause to allow interested parties to give reasons why Air Namibia should not be liquidated and placed in the hands of the Master of the High Court on or before 26 March.

– rrouth@nepc.com.na 


2021-03-12  Roland Routh

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