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Home / Ministers should not drive - Ndeitunga

Ministers should not drive - Ndeitunga

2014-10-30  Mathias Haufiku

Ministers should not drive - Ndeitunga

WINDHOEK- Cabinet ministers should not be allowed to drive official vehicles in order to ensure their safety and a law banning them from driving themselves should be formulated.

Police Chief Lieutenant General, Sebastian Ndeitunga, made this statement yesterday during an interview with New Era and he called on legislators to formulate a law that will ban ministers from driving themselves.

New Era wanted to know if ministers are allowed to drive themselves in light of the fact taxpayers fork out millions annually so that government can provide ministers with drivers and bodyguards.

“There is a serious need for a clause of regulation that prohibits ministers from driving themselves. Laws and regulations are put in place to regulate issues that might cause problems if such provisions are not in place, but obviously such laws must be made in consultation with the minsters themselves,” Ndeitunga said.

Ministers should not abandon their drivers and bodyguards for any reason because they would be risking their lives by doing so, said the police chief.

“All the ministers are provided with a driver and a bodyguard and I am of the opinion that they should use these services optimally for their own safety. These VIP drivers are policemen who went through a special driving course that is not offered to anyone.  It is just logic that ministers make use of their drivers and bodyguards,” said Ndeitunga.

Although ministers are provided with drivers and bodyguards, seeing some ministers moving around driving themselves is a common sight in the country.

Also there are ministers, known to this newspaper, who would drive their official vehicles to and from parliament for sessions, mainly due to the fact they do not want their drivers to languish aimlessly around parliament’s premises while the session is on.

Some ministers are said to be offloading their drivers especially during the holidays while others place their drivers on unofficial leave for activities which they think would require some privacy.

At the end of their term of office, the ministers have the option of buying the vehicles from government at a depreciated value, perhaps one of the reasons why many choose to drive themselves during weekends.

Most of the ministers only make use of their drivers and bodyguards when attending official functions.

Efforts to get hold of Cabinet Secretary, Frans Kapofi were fruitless as his mobile phone was off and an official in his office said he is on leave.

New Era wanted to ascertain whether or not there is a law prohibiting ministers from driving themselves.

Ndeitunga’s statement comes weeks after the Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Willem Isaacks, died while driving his official vehicle. The Toyota double-cab bakkie he was driving veered off the road and overturned 40km north of Keetmanshoop. Isaacks was alone in the car at the time of the accident.

This was the third car accident involving Isaacks after a previous one, which occurred in September 2011 when the car he was driving crashed on the gravel road to Koës, killing a seven-year-old boy.

In that accident, the deputy minister broke an ankle and had minor hand and head injuries.

At that time, the former //Karas Regional Commander, Josephat Abel urged politicians, who have official drivers, to refrain from driving themselves.

In April last year, the deputy minister also overturned his government Toyota double-cab bakkie after he lost control when he allegedly swerved to avoid a pool of rainwater in the road.

Police suspected that the deputy minister was speeding when the accident had happened on the gravel road between Tses and Berseba.

The deputy minister, who was alone in the vehicle, sustained minor injuries to his head and shoulder.

By Mathias Haufiku

2014-10-30  Mathias Haufiku

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