Ndeitunga’s rule of man

The police chief has directed his traffic officers not to issue tickets for government vehicles using national roads with expired license disks – contrary to the general rule.

13 January 2022 | Local News

Adam Hartman







SWAKOPMUND

Government vehicles sporting expired licence discs will still be allowed to travel on national roads, with a July 2021 directive remaining in effect. This after police chief inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga instructed traffic officers in all regions “to not issue tickets on expired government vehicles, but rather allow the vehicles to travel” on 16 July 2021.

The directive was issued last year after his office received numerous complaints about drivers of government vehicles receiving traffic tickets for expired licence discs, which allegedly resulted in the draught relief distribution programme in rural areas not materialising.

Police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi said the exemption was given to facilitate undisrupted service delivery and aid all essential services while the ministry of works’ legal team “is sorting out the issue of licences”.

“The directive of the inspector general of police remains effective until further notice,” she told Namibia Media Holdings.

Shikwambi said statistics on how many tickets have been issued to drivers of government vehicles with expired licences since the start of 2021 were not ready but would be provided at a later stage.

According to her, the directive was of a temporary nature and done in the best interests of all the citizens.

Questioned on this ‘special treatment’ for government vehicles, she said: “It is… not appropriate to equate the circumstances that surround government vehicles to that of ordinary members of the public, as government vehicles are there to serve the whole nation, whereas vehicles of normal citizens are there to serve their respective needs individually”.

Secretary-general of the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) Pendapala Nakathingo questioned the decision, asking what the rationale was to exempt vehicles bought with state resources.

“If it could be said, Nabta, we are exempted because of Covid-19 because we didn’t make money, one could understand. If government with its own budget, its own money, is exempted, what was the reasoning? We want to know as Nabta what is the reason behind the decision. It sounds unfair,” he said.

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