Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has strongly warned some pastors who this week went viral on social media urging other Namibians not to accept the state-initiated N$750 once-off grant to cushion the recipients from the economic impact of the effects stemming from the far-reaching initial 21-day lockdown period.
Three people claiming to be pastors publicly dispatched SMS messages instigating Namibians not to register for the N$750 grant, claiming it is blood money.
Government will provide a once-off payment of N$750 to employees who have lost their jobs during the pandemic in the formal and informal sectors.
This fund is part of the N$8.1 billion first phase of an economic stimulus and relief package on the impact of Covid-19 on the economy and the affected households.
The N$750 is based on a poverty line of approximately N$250 per week. The qualifying employees need to be Namibian citizens between the ages of 18 to 60, and should not be currently benefitting from any social grants.
In one of the clips shared with this reporter by Ndeitunga, a pastor from the north could be heard in Oshiwambo saying such payment is “blood money” and it will never help Namibians.
The clip is that of a woman in a company of a radio presenter in Oshiwambo, who also hurled insults at national leaders that they are giving “blood money” because they want people’s souls.
Equally, the duo on radio said people should stop worshipping national leaders and only worship God.
They also told people to throw away gadgets such as cellphones, saying such technology is “killing people.”
Ndeitunga said they studied the clips and the police will not spare such individuals calling themselves ‘pastors’ but are busy sabotaging government’s efforts.
“We will not hesitate to arrest those pastors telling people not to register and accept money given by central government. They must stop misleading people with false information. How can radio presenters even allow such pastors to go on air and spread false information?” Ndeitunga reacted.
They claim such money being given by government is “blood money” from China to sacrifice Namibian lives.
He went on telling people not to have love for money and get used to situations of hunger and poverty in hard times like this. The pastor said if government really wants to assist the needy, then they should provide food to those affected instead of money.
Further, he claimed the number where people are required to send to provide their information is Illuminati, saying if you add it together, it equates to 666.
“The leaders already came for their souls. Why do you want to believe these people? This money will never help you in your life. Until when will you use this N$750? Remember that as a child of God, your life can never be compared and be valuable to N$750. If you are not careful, we will fall into the traps of the devil and sell our souls. I will never recommend anyone to receive that N$750,” the pastor charged.
Grant rolled out
Meanwhile, the finance ministry yesterday announced it has released the first batch of payments to the value of about N$110 million to 146 974 beneficiaries of the income grant. The ministry said a total of 327 528 applications were received since the SMS line became operational last Friday. However, 180 554 were rejected for various reasons.
“The payment process was a little bit delayed due to the strict verification process to ensure that the grant is given to the rightful applicants while maintaining the credibility of the process,” said the ministry spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu.
Assertive… Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga
Photo: Emmency Nuukala