WINDHOEK – Ovambanderu Chief Kilus Munjuku III Nguvauva says when tribal chiefs request financial or material assistance from the government, it should not be seen as begging.
Nguvauva said this yesterday at the 22nd annual meeting of the Council of Traditional Leaders at Gobabis that started on Monday and ends today. “Begging is a foreign behaviour to some traditional communities and doesn’t exist in their vocabulary.
We are only asking what is justly and fairly due to us to be capacitated and enable us to carry out our mandates,” Nguvauva said.
He was seemingly responding to President Hage Geingob who during the Omaheke town hall meeting advised traditional leaders ‘to stop begging’ from government but to rather live off their subjects.
Geingob, during that meeting, said when Chief Hosea Kutako was leading his subjects, he did not get anything from government but solely relied on his subjects.
“You want to say I am king, I am this, recognise me but then you are asking for an office from government. As king, having followers, you even say ‘my people’, ‘we even own them’, but then government is paying you, the car is given, you are dying for that,” Geingob said during the town hall meeting at Gobabis.
Nguvauva also touched on the perks of traditional leaders, saying that when compared to their counterparts in South Africa and Botswana, Namibia’s traditional leaders’ allowances can be termed as nothing else than a “serious and laughable joke of the century”.
“I conducted a basic survey in order to benchmark with the neighbouring South Africa and Botswana and you would be shocked to hear what traditional leaders earn in those countries,” he said.
He said that kings/queens in South Africa who are our equivalent to chiefs earn about N$98 000 per month; while their chairperson of the National House of Traditional Leaders earns about N$71 561 per month.
Whereas, paramount chiefs in Botswana earn about N$37 266 per month, while their chairperson of the Ntlo Ya Dikgoso/House of Chiefs earns about N$48 375 per month.
“These are basic salaries and other allowances are additional,” Nguvauva stressed.
According to information obtained by New Era, government pays a N$2 100 monthly allowance to each of the 52 recognised chiefs, and a N$1 800 monthly allowance to 312 senior traditional councillors.
It also pays a monthly allowance of N$1 600 to 312 junior traditional councillors, N$1 300 for each traditional authority secretary, N$1 000 monthly allowance for each traditional authority driver and a quarterly petrol allowance of N$3 000 to each recognised traditional authority.
In total government spends over N$20.6 million a year on traditional authorities.
Besides allowances paid, between 2009 and 2016 government handed brand-new 4x4 Toyota Hilux double cabs to all 52 recognised traditional authorities throughout the country to help them carry out their traditional responsibilities in administering the affairs of their respective communities.
Nguvauva said this is far below the legal allowances of domestic/farm workers, and those of government’s laborers, drivers and secretaries.
“These figures clearly confirm that what Namibia’s traditional leaders are given as allowances can be termed as nothing else than a serious and laughable joke of the century,” he said.
“Imagine that government is giving a secretary and driver only N$1 000 and expect these poor people to attend to offices eight hours a day, seven days a week?” he said, questioning why secretaries and drivers at local authorities, regional councils and government offices, ministries and agencies earn far more than N$1 000.
2019-08-23 07:29:07 | 2 months ago