The other reason why I am searching for clarity and answers to these issues is because I am sure that if such neglect and lack of transparency and accountability is allowed to continue, then the poor and voiceless will always continue to be the victims of such injustices.
Let me first give you an insight to the first issue. We had a relative, a breadwinner who took great care of more than eight people, excluding seven minors. Unfortunately, she died at the end of August 2010, at the age of 50 years, after working as a labourer (laundry woman) at a government state hospital since 1990.
The concern is that the Government Institute of Pension Funds (GIPF), deposited a mere of N$11 000 into the bank accounts of each of the late womanís five childrenís bank accounts. Mathematically it would mean that her total pension savings payout after 20 years of service, was a mere N$55 000, after tax deductions. In simple calculations this would mean that she saved N$2750 annually.
We are left with the following questions:
1) Why did it take the GIPF a full year and 11 months to release such a small amount?
2) Why was the money transferred in that manner, while there was an executor to the deceasedís estate?
3) We were also and always of the opinion that some paper work needed to be completed before or upon final payouts made by the GIPF. We are furthermore wondering, just how much her pension savings would have been, had she lived till 60 years?
4) And, for how much longer could/would she have sustained herself with whatever little she would have received as a pension payout, with the ever rising costs of living?
I have the following suggestions. I would still like to see the GIPF calling in at least the executor(s) or the pension holder (In case the person is still alive), every time there is a payout to be made to anyone, so that they can and/must or should display all (financial) records/documentation and explain how the amounts were worked out? How much was taxed? How much was paid to settle pending debts, etc?
The beneficiary should always be accompanied by a witness. A knowledgeable human rights representative, an auditor or a lawyer assigned by the Legal Assistance Centre, if need be, would be ideal to be the beneficiariesí witness. The way that the GIPF has handled the aforementioned matter, shows that there is a lack of transparency.
I would like to request the GIPF to call in any or all the beneficiaries whose funds they were entrusted to handle and also give investment and sound financial advice. Because, in some or most cases the beneficiaries, especially those who inherit such money are young and desperate, due to the social, economic and financial challenges that they are already facing, or because they former/current education system may have failed them in one way or the other. The fact that they may be over 21 years of age by the time they receive the funds, does not mean that they are mature enough to smartly handle and invest their monies or estates.
As a social/community activist and a concerned citizen of our beloved Namibia I have also learned of a separate case whereby the GIPF paid a deceased personís pension to someone different from whom the estate was bequeathed or intended. This has had devastating consequences for the legitimate inheritor who lost out.
Both these scenarios have proof, testimonies and hard evidences. Both the situations are the root causes that are contributing to disease, crime, violence and other social evils.
How many more are out there have not been abused or manipulated by this GIPF system in the same way or even worse?
Talk to us GIPF. Give us answers. Be open and transparent.
Abraham Buru N Noabeb