WINDHOEK – Namibian Defence Force (NDF) chief, Lieutenant-General John Mutwa, has issued a directive that the force will not permit its employees to take up ad-hoc vacancies recently advertised by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN).
In a letter addressed to the ECN last week, Mutwa advised the electoral body rather to give such opportunities to unemployed youths, with youth unemployment currently estimated to be at 43 percent.
“This communication serves to inform that lately my office has been inundated with queries pertaining to NDF members who wish to apply for the temporary advertised positions at the ECN whereby any government official is eligible for appointment on a seconded basis,” wrote Mutwa.
“As chief of the defence force, I hereby direct that no member of the NDF will be released to be seconded at the ECN – we should rather give this opportunity to the unemployed youth to fill those temporary positions,” he explained.
The NDF chief’s decision was yesterday welcomed by permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp, who hailed Mutwa’s decision as noble.
“That is a noble decision indeed taken by NDF. The ministry (education) … did not make a decision in that regard as yet and as soon as a decision will be made, I will inform you,” Steenkamp said yesterday.
ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro said the commission employs a very small percentage of government employees to perform supervisory roles in several strategic areas of the election process.
He said some are also used to driving government vehicles and would ensure accountability.
“What we are saying is that you don’t want hundreds of unemployed youth driving around in government vehicles, it’s a recipe for disaster,” he said.
Early last month, the ECN advertised in various newspapers temporary vacancies for the 2019 supplementary registration of voters and the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections.
The electoral body seeks to employ over 15 000 people for the election period.
ECN is looking to employ regional coordinators, assistant coordinators, supervisors of registration, regional logistics officers, and head office store assistants, polling officials, regional IT technical support staff, IT field support staff, youth ambassadors, human resource administrators and computer technicians.
Large daily remuneration packages have attracted many government officials in the past, who subsequently put in leave to be excused from their permanent jobs to take on these temporary positions.
According to the advert, recruits will be paid N$100 daily while on training while personnel like regional coordinators will be paid N$1 152 as a fixed daily rate for registration and a N$1 728 fixed daily rate for polling. Non-government officials are paid slightly less.
2019-02-04 09:53:46 13 days ago