- Southern Africa
- Finance - Politics
Namibia: Row over big presidential car expenses
A new N$10 million Namibian Presidential armoured motorcade has, allegedly, cost a ministry of Works and Transport employee his job for leaking information which reveals extravagant use of public funds.
Nambian media claim that Julius Ngweda was given the boot after an inside investigation by government in search of employees who could have leaked documents concerning the purchase of two state-of-the-art S600L Mercedes Benz vehicles to be part of President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s motorcade.
“Yes, he was suspended because the ministry had suspicion that he is the one who leaked the documents to you. The truth would be established when he is called for a disciplinary hearing and whatever outcome the disciplinary committee will decide on the appropriate action to take,” Minister of Works and Transport, Helmut Angula told the Namibian media.
Namibian media says the costs of controversial armoured motorcade is equivalent to the annual salaries for 20 specialist doctors or Anti-retroviral drugs for 26,000 people per month.
The shocking revelation come public just shortly before Pohamba was confirmed, last month, as Namibian President for his second term after the Presidential and Parliamentary elections late November.
Information gleaned from several publications indicate that the Office of the President was advised against purchasing new vehicles as the conditions of the current Mercedes Presidential motorcade was still in mint condition.
According to publications they all point to Ndeutala Angolo, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President as having ordered the Ministry of Works and Transport to acquire one Mercedes Benz S600L B6/B7 protection auto (armoured) and one Mercedes Benz S600L unarmoured.
The Mercedes Benz S600L Guard/Armoured costs a staggering N$6,212,000 inclusive of value added tax and with extras that include a folding table in the rear seat which costs N$23,000 with a driving assistance package which costs a further N$34,000 bringing the total price to N$6,269,000.
The second vehicle, an armoured Mercedes Benz S600L costs N$1,626,000 and comes with options of a refrigerator in the rear seat costing N$13,000, folding table in rear costing N$23,000 and a driving assistance package valued at N$34,000 with the end total coming to N$1,676,000.