By Staff Reporter
PERMANENT Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr.Alfred Ilukena has co-opted decision not to pay N$500,000 claims of subsistence and travelling allowance to former school principal of Masambo primary in the formerly western Caprivi.
Mr.Ilukena, told Caprivi Vision that his office will not overstep the decision of the labour court and the Labour Commissioner as the highest authority in the matter which according to him compromised the orders to resolve the issue amicably in providing a settlement offer of N$2400 plus a payment offer of 30 days approved by Zambezi Regional Council on September 13, 2013.
A discontented school principal Mr. Alex Mibonda is accusing the ministry for failing to pay his S&Ts for the last 7 years, he also accused Mr.Ilukena who failed to address the matter only advising him to forward his grievances to the Chief Regional Officer of Zambezi Regional Council Mrs Regina Ndopu–Lubinda .
Mr. Mibonda dismissed Mr.Ilukena’s decision in not attending to his grievances saying it was not justified and he alleged that the PS used tribalism as he relied on false reports from his line staffs of his tribe( Subia) and he was looked down because of his tribal background of being a Totela .
He added that , he was forced to approach the Ministry of Labour for mediation , He was only offered N$2 400 taxable transport allowance by the Education Ministry, which stands at N$1 584 after deductions which he is disputing it was not his final settlement on this matter..
“Both the Labour and Education Ministry did not do it according to the law, because there were no signed documents. I even challenged the PS to come up with the documents that I could sign but he failed to do so. I consider that payment as bribery and that was a tea break. Now I’m waiting for my lunch and supper, the Director, PS and the inspector they do not want to listen to me because of my background of being a Totela,” explained Mr. Mibonda.
Asked why the ministry is failing to meet demands of Mr. Mibonda, the Education chief Mr.Ilukena responded that he will not entertain Mr.Mibonda’s claims saying that the final settlement was agreed between the two parties in the labour court which according to Mr. Mibonda he lashed it as not a labour court case but it was a mediation .
“ I don’t have anything to add on that letter dated 13 September 2013, is specific and a final settlement was done “ he said
Mr. Alex Sombelo Mibonda aged 53, is claiming to be paid 255 days multiplied by 5 years instead of 30 days in five years that he was appointed to run two schools in the western Caprivi at a distance of 12 km apart from each other for five years without proper budget from government.
“Following your several visits and complaints to the office of the Chief Regional Officer, the latter decided that you should be paid subsistence and travelling allowance for thirty days that you visited Masambo Junior Primary School. The said subsistence and travelling allowance will be paid to you for the specific days that you were reimbursed your transport expenses.” said Ms. Regina Ndopu, Chief Regional Officer of Zambezi Regional Council in a letter dated September 13, 2013 addressed to the concerned principal.
He was also advised to report to the Deputy Director for Human Resources to complete relevant payment forms for the processing of his claims in question. Which he did not fulfill as yet.
“ My main argument on the point of 30 days is that, is it true that the school can sustain administrative activities of six days per year? The answer is no, I have laid the most strongest foundation of that school in question and that is why today it has a permanent structure and other resources.” Lamented Mr. Mibonda.
The concerned principal still arguing that “ I am not guessing but this is correct I have visited Masambo Primary School for almost 255 days and even more, therefore I am demanding the Ministry of Education to pay Subsistence and Travelling Allowances of those days mentioned above and if not the culprits must face the competent court of law or else the ministry should face me as a victim”
Mr. Mibonda was principal at Ndoro and Masambo primary schools between 2004 and 2008, claims that the Ministry of Education economically exploited him by not paying him the administrative tasks of Masambo Primary Schools that is found 200 Kilometers west of Zambezi region for the previously marginalized community, the San-speaking people.