Retiring PSes feel they are pushed out

April 9, 2015, 9:23am

Retiring PSes feel they are pushed out
GOVERNMENT, particularly the office of the Secretary to Cabinet, has come under fire for allegedly ill-treating permanent secretaries nearing retirement who feel they are being booted out of government despite decades of service.
The Namibian has learned that the affected permanent secretaries feel humiliated and disgraced at a time they were supposed to part ways gracefully with government but are rather subjected to “harsh treatment” during their last days in office. 
Government sources pointed to agriculture permanent secretary Joseph Iita and gender permanent secretary Erastus Negonga as examples. 
Iita was allegedly given a few hours to vacate his office on the day he was told that his services were no longer needed by government. 
A government source said that despite the PS requesting for confirmation about his last day at the office on more than two occasions, from the Cabinet secretary's office, his requests were ignored.
He allegedly received a letter last Thursday informing him that he should vacate his office that day. The source added that Iita's dismissal letter also stated that he should feel free to seek a legal opinion if he felt unjustly treated.
The source said Iita was reporting for work as usual, despite his contract having ended on the last day of March, because his letter indicated that he was not seeking an extension to his contract but was not allowed to leave office until his departure was sanctioned by the secretary to Cabinet. 
The Namibian reported, last year, that Iita said he was planning to go into retirement. He was also not served with a notice to extend his contract. 
Iita refused to comment and referred questions to secretary to Cabinet, George Simataa. 
Government sources said that Negonga also received his termination letter last week as government has reportedly found a replacement for him. He could not be reached for comment.
Negonga was also quoted in the media as questioning the validity of the decision to force them into retirement. He also successfully, through a legal challenge, managed to force government to reappoint him in 2010. 
Simataa said the two permanent secretaries were notified that their contracts had expired and that they have not been dismissed.
He added that Iita's employment contract expired on 22 March 2015 while Negonga's ended on 21 March 2015.
Safety and security permanent secretary Ndeutala Angolo and fisheries permanent secretary Ulitala Hiveluah are also supposed to retire this year. 
If the four leave government service, it means there will be six vacant posts for permanent secretaries.
Simataa left the ministry of labour when he was appointed secretary to Cabinet and deputy justice minister Lidwina Shapwa resigned her former post as PS for lands to join the National Assembly. 
Simataa said the responsibility to reshuffle permanent secretaries lies with the Prime Minster
The Namibian