Employees of the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) were yesterday up in arms and crying foul over unpaid salaries, accusing the NSC leadership of running the national sports regulatory body like their personal fiefdom.
As of late yesterday afternoon, NSC employees had not yet received their salaries and many were scrambling around pleading with their various banks to bear with them for a day or two as they await the commission’s management to sort out the situation or at least provide clarity on the way forward as far as their earnings are concerned.
Four NSC staff members, who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity, said the state of the NSC is deteriorating as the delayed payment of salaries for this month is just the tip of the iceberg. They further claimed that the NSC has not been paying over their deductibles to the various commercial banks and have instead been using money from employees’ deductibles to stay afloat.
In an internal memo to the office of the chief administrator – which New Era Sport has also seen – NSC’s head of finance and administration Junias Hamalua yesterday wrote to NSC chief administrator Freddy Mwiya to inform him that the commission was not in a financial position to make up a payroll for this month.
As customarily and contractually agreed, the NSC was expected to pay salaries yesterday – meaning employees’ salaries were supposed to reflect in their accounts yesterday morning, but that was not the case for the whole of yesterday.
“The NSC executives are living in luxury but the organisation is going down. They are not paying over our various deductions such as loans to the banks, where we borrowed money and that has put us in a very difficult situation. What they [NSC executive] have been doing is that they use our deductibles to pay for the NSC’s monthly utilities such as water and electricity, but they are forever travelling and pocketing exorbitant S&T. It can’t go on like this, they must be exposed because they are jeopardising our livelihoods. We have families to feed and we have monthly deductions with our banks that are supposed to go off tonight (last night), what will happen now? Those people are just worried about pocketing S&T while the organisation is sinking,” said one employee.
Another disgruntled employee also confided to New Era Sport, saying: “The reality is they have depleted the budget before the end of our financial year, which will end in April. This is not the first time that salaries are being delayed, it also happened four times last year but we kept quiet and understood. But it can’t continue this way, there are serious problems at the NSC.”
Contacted for comment yesterday, a clearly staggered Hamalua expressed disappointment with the NSC employees leaking internal memos to the media but did however confirm that the commission had not paid the workers their salaries.
“However, we are working to resolve the situation and as management we even spoke to all employees this morning to explain the situation to them. The delay in salary payments is not actually from our side, but from the side of the finance ministry. They [finance ministry] have not yet paid over our operational funds, so we are not in a position to pay salaries, but various arrangements are being made to make sure the employees get their salaries between tomorrow (today) and Saturday. We are also working with the sport ministry to sort out the issue, everyone should be paid going into the weekend,” explained Hamalua.