By Confidente Reporter
THE Office of the Auditor-General, has raised questions into how the Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi allegedly claimed nearly N$13 000 in Subsistence and Travel (S&T) allowances from the National Assembly when he travelled to South Africa for his school reunion event, Confidente has learnt.
According to documents at hand, on August 31, the Office of the Auditor General wrote to the National Assembly raising questions as to why Katjavivi had to be paid an advance by the National Assembly when he was attending the event in his private capacity.
“The honourable Speaker to National Assembly Mr Katjavivi P.H was paid an amount of N$12 768 for the trip taken on the 04/06/2015 to 06/06/2015 to South Africa to attend a school reunion at Yale University. Advance number 201506030005 and the claim number 201506030044. Upon reading the attached motivation, auditor found that the invitation was issued in a private capacity to the Honourable Speaker.”
However, when contacted for comment, Gerson Tjihenuna, a director in Katjavivi’s office, was adamant that it was an official trip.
“…The trip that the Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Professor Peter Katjavivi, undertook to Cape Town, South Africa, from 04- 06th June 2015 was an official trip and not a private one as you are alleging. The Speaker travelled to attend the Reunion of the Southern Africa Research Programme (SARP) at Yale University in Cape Town, South Africa in his capacity as Speaker. At the conference, the Speaker gave a presentation on Namibia’s education since independence in 1990.
“Given the cordial relationship between the Parliament of Namibia and the Parliament of South Africa, the Speaker was also given a guided tour of the South African Parliament. Of particular interest in this guided tour were the subjects of a Parliamentary Village and a Parliamentary Guest House,” Tjihenuna said.
The Office of the Auditor- General has also raised questions as to how the Deputy Secretary of the National Assembly, Findley Harker had an advance payment of N$12 300 made to him without providing the necessary documents to back his financial claim.
“For an advance payment made to Mr F.S Harker document number 201508030059 with an amount of N$12 300, there was no motivation attached to the claim form and there were no other supporting documents attached, hence making it difficult for the auditor to verify the validity of the trip. In addition neither the claim nor the advance was approved,” the document reads in part.
The Office of the Auditor- General also raised the same questions on an advance payment made to former Secretary of the National Assembly, Jakes Jacobs of N$4 296 without supporting documents for the claim.
“Mr Jakes Jacobs advance payment number (201507030167) of an amount of N$4 296 had no motivation and no other supporting documents attached and neither on the advance nor on the claim form making it difficult to verify the validity of the trip.”
When contacted for comment, Jacobs said it was a purely administrative matter and he had supplied the necessary documentation to the National Assembly’s finance department.
“There are some instances I did not even claim S&T,” he said.
Harker said it was unusual that the Auditor-General’s Office was asking for such documents yet they had been submitted to the National Assembly’s finance department.
“That is very strange because we work with our finance department. They should get that information from our finance department.”
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