Query: Minister Tjekero Tweya, is it true that some of your staff are commuting between Tsumeb and Omuthiya every day for work? Is that not a waste and misuse of our money and government vehicles? Did you consider the safety of your staff? Please explain this?
The MICT management is concerned about the wellbeing of all our staff members, including the provision of proper accommodation and shelter. That is why it was agreed – as an interim measure – that the Oshikoto regional officials would commute from Tsumeb to Omuthiya for a few weeks, while the accommodation issue is being looked at and sorted out.
Oshikoto regional officials were also allowed to open the office at 10h00 and close at 15h00 to have enough time to be able to drive to and from Tsumeb safely. We take cognisance of all inconveniences that might be caused by this arrangement and sympathise with our staff members and citizens. We would like to request our staff members and the nation at large to bear with us since this is only a temporary arrangement while an amicable solution is being worked out.
Query: Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, why did you build a new office in Omuthiya with no staff accommodation, knowing that Omuthiya is a newly proclaimed town. This was absolutely poor planning.
Response: Following the proclamation of Omuthiya Town Council in 2007 and consequently establishment as the capital of Oshikoto region, due to its central location in the region, most offices, ministries and agencies were expected to relocate their regional offices to Omuthiya.
The Ministry of Information & Communication Technology tried to relocate its regional office to Omuthiya for the past 8 years and could not do so due to lack of office accommodation. Efforts to have staff members accommodated by the Oshikoto Regional Council also did not materialise, hence the need for MICT to construct its regional office at Omuthiya, which was completed at the end of June 2015, when the construction company handed it over to the ministry.
In terms of time and expenditure, it is worth noting that in previous years MICT officials operated from Tsumeb and travelled long distances to places, such as Eengodi, Okankolo, Tsintsabis and other far and remote parts of Oshikoto region.
Media Liaison Services, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology
* The responses contained herein are in response to question and comments raised in the SMS section of The Namibian newspaper, as well as directly with the government agencies concerned.