Accident Fund Seals Another Deal

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK THE Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVAF) and NamPost yesterday signed a partnership agreement aimed at ensuring MVAF clients get direct access to compensation than through representatives. Chairman of the MVAF Board, Philip Amunyela, at the signing of agreement ceremony said members of public, especially the disadvantaged who do not know their rights, are denied access to what they are entitled to and usually fall victim to greedy professionals. “In the MVA system, they are then often forced into onerous, unfair, and unreasonable agreements to be represented. The result is that much of their compensation that they are entitled to is lost to the advantage of the so-called representatives,” he complained. This week witnessed the arrest of Ondangwa-based lawyer Arunugam Thambapilai who allegedly made fraudulent claims amounting to N$75 000. This amount was initially supposed to be paid to a widow of three children whose husband died as a consequence of a vehicle accident. Due to the increasing number of motor vehicle accidents in the country, Amunyela says MVAF and NamPost thought it is important they form a partnership in an effort to empower the vulnerable to help themselves. “The MVA Fund resolved to increase its accessibility to the community and as such, decided to collaborate with NamPost in order to expedite services to its clientele,” he said. The agreement which was signed yesterday entails that MVAF uses NamPost employees and postal outlets for the distribution of its claim forms and related services. Amunyela alerted all the people of the need to ensure that they get rid of dishonesty, deviance and fraud. “We are very serious about addressing this issue so as to clean up the system and we will continue to be very serious,” warned the chairman of the board of the accident fund. Last year, MVAF found itself at a crossroads, compelling the board to implement an aggressive transformation strategy that would remedy a deteriorating situation. One area the fund had to look at was the issue of accessibility, as the MVAF was barely known by the majority. It is through all these contributing factors that the fund resolved to increase its accessibility to the community through its collaboration with NamPost. At the same event, NamPost’s Chief Executive Officer Sakaria Nghikembua said his company had agreed to go into the partnership in recognition of the important role that NamPost plays in the country. According to Nghikembua, the cooperation avoids a duplication of infrastructure, creates operational efficiencies and results in financial savings for state-owned entities. He says his personnel in the 120 NamPost offices across the country would ensure they help people complete forms and where the questions might sound complicated, the MVA would be contacted. Once clients complete the forms, they would be handed back to post offices after which they would be forwarded to the MVAF head office using its courier services. “In terms of this cooperation agreement, our post offices, employees and infrastructure will be made available to the MVAF to enable the latter to reach out and provide an efficient service … through our network of post offices,” stated the NamPost CEO. Training of staff has already started on this project.”