Desie Heita Windhoek-Last year more than 74 percent of the N$250 million that was put aside in case of emergencies was used to pay salaries of public enterprises, and the unbudgeted expenses for lawyers and consultants hired by the Attorney General. The money was also spent on appeasing the ‘struggle kids’ and to keep tertiary students from bashing the doors of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), when the universities opened in January this year. Cuba, a strong ally of Namibia, also received humanitarian assistance from the fund. There was also withdrawal from the account to help pay for the fuel and utilities of the Ministry of Safety and Security. New Era reported last year that a significant fleet of police vehicles had to be grounded due to lack of fuel. Inspector General of the Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, also confirmed at the time that a lack of adequate resources has forced the decision to abolish the provision of free transport to police officers, and that recruitment of new officers has been suspended for the next three years. Only officers on night duty and those guarding VIPs were to be transported at the force’s cost, Ndeitunga told New Era in January 2017. Last year the Ministry of Finance allocated N$250 million as contingency provision, an emergency fund that Treasury uses to finance emergency situations such as drought and floods. Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein reported to parliament yesterday during his budget speech that some N$186,4 million were drawn during the financial year to pay for a number of items. Employees of Road Contractor Companies (RCC) have been drawing their salaries from the fund, first in September 2017 and again since January this year. This is set to continue until this month. The money withdrawn to service the RCC wage bill totals N$42 million, according to the newly released spending, which accompanied the 2018/19 budget documents to the National Assembly yesterday. The Cuban government received a humanitarian assistance of N$13,8 million from the contingency fund. NSFAF also received N$50 million to help cover student payments. There was also a provision for the struggle kids, with N$18 million withdrawn and given to the ministry of youth, who had enrolled them into various youth training programmes across the country. Payment to this effect was made in January this year. Also, a N$7,42 million payment was made to South African firm Valinsight, who had presented a civil claim to the Ministry of Justice for work they did for the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF). Valinsight bills itself as actuarial, financial advisors and consultants. The claim was for restructuring the GIPF, it said. There was also another amount of N$1,3 million set aside to pay for the London lawyers contracted by the Attorney General in the Ovaherero/Nama genocide matter with the German government. Documents indicate that although the amount has been committed, it has not yet been paid over to lawyers, Advocate Dexter Dias (QC) and Advocate Richard Reynolds. Attorney General also had to draw N$752,899 to pay for a pension fund review. Documents do not indicate who received the money. Salaries for teachers at the College of the Arts were also paid with more than N$1 million, through the education ministry, drawn from the contingency fund. State funerals for the late Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, Namibia’s anti apartheid activists and former Robben Island prisoner, cost government N$3 million, as did the commemoration of the Heroes Day last year. The funeral of the late governor of Kunene Angelika Muharukua took N$1,5 million from the fund, while the funeral of the late Rosalia Nghidinwa, a former Cabinet minister, needed N$2 million from the same fund.
New Era Reporter
2018-03-08 08:52:31 11 months ago