Staff Writer

Bank of Namibia (BoN) Director of Banking Services, Sam Shivute is set to be appointed the inaugural head of the Namibia Revenue Agency (NamRA) after cabinet chaired by President Hage Geingob approved his appointment.

The last hurdle in the unveiling of Shivute now lies with the Public Service Commission, which is widely expected to approve his appointment as Commissioner of NamRA following cabinet’s nod.

Shivute will ascend to head the revenue body amid allegations that recruitment procedures were violated to ensure that he emerges as the preferred candidate, with the finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi as the key driver of the process.

The finance minister working with Penda Ithindi, a Deputy Director in the ministry, have been accused in some quarters of usurping the mandate of the NamRa board, by taking over the recruitment process.

Shuvute and Shiimi are former collogues at the central bank where the finance minister was previously the BoN Governor.

According to the advert placed for the job, the Commissioner of NamRA will be responsible for developing and implementing the strategic plan, business plan and scorecard for the agency, in consultation with the minister and the board of directors.

Shivute as head of NamRa will report directly to the Finance minister and the board of directors, while ensuring the collection of taxes, customs and excise duties, ensuring compliance and implementation of an enforcement strategy, as determined by the Ministry of Finance.

According to the key competences of the job, the incumbent was required to have a comprehensive knowledge of Namibia’s tax system and familiarity with the tax laws, SACU and SADC appliance tax treaties, as well as regional and international protocols to be administered by the NamRa.

The newly formed revenue body is currently without a head after the six month term of Ebson Uanguta, Deputy Governor of BoN, who had been seconded to head NamRa until a substantive head was appointed, expired.

Uanguta’s appointment came after short-listed candidates who were interviewed for NamRa top job are alleged to have failed to obtain security clearance by the national intelligence agency.

The candidates included Justus Mwafongwe, PwC Namibia’s tax leader Chantell Husslemann and Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia Chairperson, Heinrich Mihe Gaomab.

Shivute was previously seconded by the BoN to the Ministry of Finance and appointed Inland Revenue Commissioner.

The revenue body was established by the government as part of efforts to increase revenue collection efficiency in the country.

NamRa’s operations are expected to be funded through government budget appropriations, based on costed and prioritised programmes and in exercising its operational autonomy. The agency is expected to adopt its own internal policies separate from those of the public service to achieve efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.