By Confidente Reporter
CONTROVERSY surrounds the nearly N$800 000 annual salary for a technical adviser for the Ndonga Linena Irrigation Scheme in Kavango East by Agribusdev, a parastatal that falls under the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Confidente has learnt.
Confidente is informed that the hefty salary has irked workers at the irrigation scheme and other Government-owned irrigation schemes who have questioned how a technical adviser for only one green scheme can be paid a salary that is equivalent to a Government minister.
According to a job offer letter for Johannes Jacobus Opperman in Confidente’s possession written September 28 by Agribusdev’s Managing Director, Petrus Uugwanga, Opperman will receive annually a gross basic salary of N$600 000, a housing allowance of N$42 590, a transport allowance of N$85 180, pension contribution of N$51 000, employer medical aid contribution of N$16 512 bringing his salary and benefits to a gross of N$795 282.
On top of that Opperman is entitled to a performance bonus at a rate not profit. exceeding five percent of the audited employer’s
“Subsequent to your application for employment and the recent interview conducted on September 19 2016, I have the pleasure to inform you that you are our preferred candidate for the position and thus offer you the position of Technical Advisor (Crop Production) on a period of two years renewable contract of employment,” Uugwanga wrote to Opperman.
Minister of Agriculture, John Mutorwa, Monday when asked why Opperman was being paid such a hefty salary said he wasn’t aware of the remuneration package.
“I am aware of his appointment after I visited Ndonga Linena green scheme in September and established that the managers there needed a hand to help strengthen their operations; but I don’t know about salaries. I am not the one who makes appointments,” Mutorwa said before he referred Confidente to Uugwanga.
Uugwanga defended, Opperman’s salary saying it was market related and everything was done above board.
“Myself I don’t consider it a huge salary for a person of his calibre. Everything went through proper procedures. Opperman has vast experience in onion and potato production which is a rare skill in Namibia. He is one of the few Namibians with such a skill,” he said.
Confidente requested Uugwanga to avail, Opperman’s curriculum vitae however at the time of going to print he had not done so despite further follow ups to do so.
Uugwanga also went further to say that, Agribusdev had decided to employ Opperman because his salary was less than what they would have paid an expatriate.
However Confidente has it on good authority that all expatriates employed by Agribusdev doing almost similar duties as Opperman are currently being paid gross salaries averaging N$470 000 annually.
“In fact if we are to get a foreigner it will be more expensive for us to pay them. Opperman will be using state of the art planting and harvesting machines for our potato project and in the end the benefits of employing him will outweigh the costs of employing him,” Uugwanga said.
Opperman when contacted for comment, Tuesday referred Confidente to Uugwanga.
“How did you get my contract? That is illegal. Go ask the Managing Director,” he said.
Ndonga Linena irrigation scheme is situated 75km east of Rundu in Kavango East. The farm covers a total land area of 1000 hectares of which currently only 506 hectares are under commercial and small-scale production. A total of 332 hectares are utilised by commercial farming and 174 hectares are under small-scale farming.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015