Funeral undertaker cries foul over unpaid salary

By Dominic Sikopo

A 47 year old mortician at Mutelo Funeral Services has exposed that his employer is in arrears with about N$17 000 in unpaid bush allowances salary owed to him.

Mr Fabian Kopano revealed to Caprivi Vision that he has only been paid a paltry monthly salary of N$1000 since 2002.

Concerned Mortician, Mr. Fabian Kopano

The funeral home is now in arrears with Mr. Kopano`s salary following a verbal agreement that he would be receiving a bush allowance of N$200 when  he travel out to assist the other employees in lowering the casket with the aid of a machine at funerals.

”I have assisted at the funeral of about 81 people and I am yet to be paid for that work. The total bush allowance is now owned amounts of thousand of Namibian dollars,” bemoaned Mr. Kopano.

Futile attempts by Mr. Kopano to find out about the money he is owed, he was told that he should bring along a letter that states that he is a corpse washer.

“I do not know where I should find the letter they are asking me to bring along for their attention. Mrs. Mutelo has threatened me to quit if  i do not work anymore.” Mr Kopano said.

When contacted for comment, Mrs Mutelo declined to talk to Caprivi Vision and referred all queries to her husband Mr. Bernard Mutelo, who is the registered owner of the funeral home.

Mr Mutelo refuted Mr. Kopano`s claims saying they are unfounded. Mr Mutelo added that Mr. Kopano is a chronic absentee, who is fond of absconding from work,

“He is lying, there was no verbal agreement. We do not make verbal promises to our employees. If we see the need to give a raise to our employees, then we will call them and explain to them” , he said

“He is always absent from work. You can even check the register or even ask some of his colleagues they will tell you the same thing”. Mr Mutelo said.

Regional coordinator of Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (NATAU) for Caprivi region Mr. Alex Taimo, confessed that he was aware of Mr. Kopano s situation and said the matter was brought to his attention.

“Mr. Kopano came to our office and alerted us of his problem and complaints and I advised him to put his complaints in writing but he went and never came back to me,” Mr. Taimo said.


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