Kafula Double Pay Dilemma Drags On

WINDHOEK mayor Agnes Kafula, who is currently on two payrolls, said she is still weighing her options a year after her application to go on paid leave from her job at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration was blocked.

Kafula was re-elected last year as mayor of Windhoek, but her tenure at the largest municipality in the country has not been all sweet because some officials from her ministry complained that she has been neglecting her job as a civil servant.

She confirmed to The Namibian yesterday that the process of negotiations is ongoing.

“We are still in the process. I don’t want to pre-empt what the results will be but just wait until the right time comes,” she said.

Last year, the Public Service Commission rejected Kafula’s application for paid leave to focus on her political position at the municipality.

A source in the ministry said the issue, which was raised last year, has not yet been resolved, despite complaints from co-workers.

Kafula is a chief control officer, whose position is just below that of the deputy director. She oversees the department that deals with civil documents.

She admitted last year that being mayor was a “heavy responsibility thatcould not be handled by someone with a job somewhere,” because at the end of the day, “you will do injustice to both sides”.

“There are times when there are appointments with the municipality, which coincide with meetings at home affairs. What you do is you tend to sacrifice one of them,” she added.

The chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Eddy Amkongo, last year confirmed that the commission was consulted to look into whether it was permissible for Kafula to go on paid leave while she served as mayor.

“We found out there is no possibility of her going on paid leave. The Commission aised that there is no legislation that allows her to be on extended leave unless it is unpaid,” Amkongo explained.

The commission aised Kafula to temporarily step down from her ministerial job and go on unpaid leave.

Speaking as president of ALAN, Kafula said they were working on reforms to the Local Authority Act of 1992 to make mayors and councillors full-time employees.

She said consultations were done in form of workshops and they had approached the Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Charles Namoloh, who told them that he was working on the issue and that he would table the motion in cabinet.

Home affairs permanent secretary Patrick Nandago told The Namibian yesterday that he believes the issue should not be about Kafula but the system, which currently allows civil servants to serve as councillors.

He said Kafula is not the only councillor in the ministry and it all depends on how organised a person is.

Even though The Namibian understands that the permanent secretary has been approached by his officials with regards to the input of Kafula in the ministry, Nandago denied receiving complaints.

He claimed this was the reason for not approaching the Public Service Commission about councillors and mayors not being productive in the ministry he leads.

Source : The Namibian