Employees of Katima Mulilo Town Council were left fuming on Thursday after they found that their employer had not processed their salaries, leaving the workers with unpaid bills and additional frustrations.
Workers were angry and said it appears that it has become a habit for the council to delay pauyment of their monthly salaries, which are due on the 25th of every month.
Former council chairperson Salubila Maswahu confirmed the salary delay and said municipal workers faced a similar delay last month, which he blamed on the “incompetence of management”.
“This is the management’s problem because they are not making sure that everything is in order. Look now at what is happening. They should be answerable and explain what is causing all this drama,” the outspoken Maswahu said.
He said people should not point fingers at chief executive officer Charles Nawa, because the latter has not been in office for the past few weeks.
“Nawa is a hardworking person. He is in Windhoek as we speak and does not have anything to do with this delay. The problem here is the management, because even last month when he was not here during the same payday period, salaries were also delayed,” Maswahu said.
Katima Mulilo Mayor Georgina Mwiya-Simataa distanced herself from the matter, saying she cannot discuss it on behalf of council, as it is an administrative rather than a policy issue.
“I don’t deal with council issues on the phone normally. The person in the correct position to answer you is the CEO, but as far as I know there are no problems with salary payment because I did not receive any report concerning salaries,” she said.
Contacted for comment, Nawa confirmed that municipal employees were not paid, but pleaded with this reporter not to publish the story as the town council was doing all it could to resolve the issue and pay workers as soon as possible.
“My opinion is don’t publish this story. What’s happening is that we are improving the system of the town council, that’s why there was a delay, but everything has now been resolved and people will get their money tomorrow (last Friday),” he said.
Nawa further said council is switching from the old system of depositing cheques to a new electronic payment system and this has presented some teething problems.
“Now we are in a system where we have to transfer electronically so that the money can be reflected in your account on the 25th if you are an employee of the town council. What happened is that there was a delay yesterday, but as we speak the money is already in the accounts of the employees,” he said.
New Era understands that all municipal workers indeed received their salaries on Friday.