Staff Writer

THE Windhoek City Council has dismissed as factually incorrect a story published by The Namibian last week concerning allowances for councilors demanding an apology.

In a media release on 24 August by the Office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Council is taking issue with an article titled “Fat salaries for city bosses”. The story alleges that Windhoek Mayor, Job Amupanda, is set to be paid a monthly allowance of more than N$70 000 – at least N$5 000 more than his predecessors. Amupanda will also be entitled to numerous perks, including an annual entertainment allowance of N$50 000 as part of his compensation for his part-time services at the city.

Amupanda is a full-time lecturer at the University of Namibia (Unam).

His deputy, Clemencia Hanases’ allowances of N$798 000 translate to more than N$66 000 a month.

These allowances and other expenditures for the municipality’s employees will be funded by a proposed increment in residents’ electricity and household tariffs

“The alleged increase in the allowance of Dr Amupanda is factually incorrect. Council meeting of 7 November, 2019, (Resolution 270/11/2019) resolved that there would be no increments to the allowances of the councilors,” the statement says.

It adds that this position that there would be no increase for councillors was further confirmed recently by a directive from the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni, advising a zero increment on councilors’ allowances for the financial year as per the approved City of Windhoek 2021-2022 budget.

“The same information was shared during the budget presentation to the media on 23 August. “In the same article, the author incorrectly stated that the approved budget for 2021/22 recorded a deficit of N$213 408 333, however, this amount is clearly indicated in the presentation made to the media that it is a surplus and not a deficit as reported,” the statement reads.

The City of Windhoek assured residents that it remains committed to prudent financial management and principles of good corporate governance.

“Therefore, journalists are hereby requested to kindly confirm their facts prior to publication and demonstrate ethical and responsible journalism in order to ensure the dissemination of factual information to the public.”

“It is against this background that the City of Windhoek expects an apology and re-publication of the said article, with facts or a retraction, with immediate effect,” the statement reads.