Officials 'sabotaging' Swapo-led government
15 July 2020 | Government
National Council audit committee chairperson Lebbeus Tobias has described the neglect of borders and challenges faced by border staff as “sabotage” of the Swapo-led government by certain officials in government ministries.
Speaking after visiting border posts in the Otjozondjupa, Kavango East and Kavango West regions, Tobias said he was disappointed by the fact that border officials are not well taken care of, while government has made resources available for this and the strengthening of the country's borders.
While listing a number of challenges in a report by the National Council's Security, Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee, Tobias also revealed how houses constructed for officials at the Dobe border post in the Otjozondjupa and Katwitwi border post in Kavango West are not occupied, pending official handovers.
Drinking from toilet basins
Other challenges include the lack of visible Namibian flags at a certain border posts, the appearance of border officials, because of a lack of uniforms, and the state of the infrastructure where they don't have access to taps and have resorted to drinking water from toilet basins.
Tobias also questioned how border officials at Dobe are expected to communicate with government if there is no network reception. Tobias alleged there are people in government who are neglecting their responsibilities, which he says is sabotaging the Swapo-led government's efforts.
Tobias and his team are currently in the Zambezi Region for the same exercise.
Tobias agreed when asked about the negative public perception on the effectiveness of standing committees.
“You are right and that is what we got from the officials at the borders. Some indicated the last time they were visited was three to four years ago,” Tobias remarked.
When asked what assurance he can give that the challenges will be solved, Tobias said he will engage the relevant line ministries directly and also involve regional leaders such as governors.
No money the scapegoat
Tobias said he does not believe the country has no money and that some may be using the coronavirus pandemic as a scapegoat for not getting things done.
He said some of the challenges experienced at borders are not expensive to fix, but ministries are not attending to them or do not follow up with the service providers who so shoddy work.
Tobias expressed his appreciation towards border staff, who despite working in difficult circumstances, are patriotic to their country.