Andrew Kathindi

Twenty employees from the Department of Inland Revenue and Customs Excise Directorate have indicated that they do not want to move to the newly formed tax collection agency, the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA).

This was revealed by Finance Ministry Spokesperson Tonateni Shidhushu. The 20 employees who have not given their consent to be transferred to NamRA are part of 1400 other staff members from the department in the Ministry of Finance.

All the employees were handed letters of intent to sign on whether they agree to or not to transfer to the newly formed government enterprise. “We will look at reasons, if there are compelling reasons, and a decision will be taken,” said Shidhudhu adding that the employees will be seconded to NamRA until recruitment has been finalised.

“This will not be an automatic transfer, however, as interviews will be conducted for certain positions at a later stage,” he said.

According to NamRA Commissioner, Sam Shivute, there was a Cabinet directive stating that staff from the Department of Inland Revenue and Customs Excise Directorate will move to NamRA.

“If they don’t want, they can be re-deployed somewhere within the public service,” said Shivute.

The Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) had previously accused the Ministry of Finance of trying to create a management structure where only a few will benefit from bloated benefits through the establishment of the revenue collection agency.

President Hage Geingob officially launched NamRA on Wednesday, 7 April. He said NamRA is envisaged as a platform for the expeditious implementation of tax policy reforms, and to be an agile institution, able to keep abreast of developments in business complexity nationally and internationally.

“Through injection and attraction of the diversified skills set and leveraging the application of technology to business processes, NamRA’s strategic intent is poised to be increasingly responsive to the perennial challenges posed by incidences of transfer pricing, illicit financial flows, base erosion and profit shifting.”

Finance Minister, Iipumbu Shiimi, revealed that the Bank of Namibia agreed to release Shivute early as Director of Banking Services in September last year, further agreeing to pay for his remuneration until NamRA took off.

“NamRA offers a competitive and performance driven work culture. You should embrace it and enhance its performance and efficiency, based on your many years of experience. Be prepared to learn and innovate. Do not compromise the values of integrity, accountability, transparency, courtesy and helpfulness which your line Ministry espouses,” Shivute told employees of the Finance Ministry, who are now joining NamRA.