Pohamba Exposed Himself

PRESIDENT Hifikepunye Pohamba had to send back to Windhoek the entire security detail, in February, during his tour of Kavango regions when he found that they had not been paid travelling allowances for the trip.

Sources said the security details guarding Pohamba were using their own money to pay for accommodation and meals for about two weeks because the Ministry of Safety and Security had not paid them.

Pohamba, according to the sources, had an outburst protesting the way those responsible were treating his security details.

After dismissing the entire security details, Pohamba is said to have insisted that only police Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga’s security details should guard him and that Ndeitunga should personally pay for the cost of his three bodyguards protecting him.

State House sources said this left the President with a skeleton protection.

The sources said Pohamba was especially angered by the fact that the police head office had failed to plan and ensure that those guarding him are adequately provided for.

A source said the police and the safety ministry had depleted its travelling budget and failed to make money available for the trip on time.

The Namibian has also learned that after Pohamba’s outburst, the safety ministry reimbursed all the officers.

Safety ministry permanent secretary Ndutala Angolo-Amutenya said they were aware that the officers left for the Kavango trip without their SampT allowances.

“We were not sitting idle,” she said, adding that the ministry was waiting for funds from the Ministry of Finance, but they were taking long.

Angolo-Amutenya further said the ministry was working hard to make sure the officers are taken care of.

Ndeitunga refused to give any details yesterday, saying he “cannot discuss the security of the President in the media”, and that it is just too sensitive a matter for him to comment on.

Although Secretary to Cabinet Frans Kapofi said he does not know about Pohamba’s outburst, he revealed that government has revised the way it pays travelling and subsistence allowances for those responsible for the safety of political office bearers.

Kapofi said the decision was made in April this year, and it was not because of Pohamba’s trip to the Kavango region.

Angolo-Amutenya lauded the new policy, saying it was difficult for her ministry to plan for all political office bearers’ travels, especially since many of the trips are unplanned and happen on an ad hoc basis.

She said with the new policy, the safety ministry will only be responsible for the salaries and benefits of VIP drivers and bodyguards, while allowing each ministry to cater for its office bearers’ travels.

Source : The Namibian