There are mass grumbles coming from different government prosecutors about the advancement that goes in a wrong way.
Prosecutors are complaining against the scheme of elevation within the office of the Prosecutor General (PG) Martha Iimalwa who is said not following the hierarchy of promoting, as she is mostly favoring some tribes than others. It is said that the prosecutor is favoring a lot of Ndongas and Kwambies speaking people than other tribes, this brought to the point of wariness among the prosecutors from different offices.
Prosecutors came to express their voice that the strategy Iimalwa is using is not right and is trying to apply tribalism in promoting rather than applying the accurate procedure as it is expected. One of the former senior prosecutors who decided to resign due to unfair promotions among the prosecutor stated that, they served for too long in one position without any promotion. He mentioned that there are those junior prosecutors from the Ndonga tribe who got promoted to take the higher position than them.
“In my case I served for more than seven years but I was not promoted neither was my salary elevated. It really hurts as we the Kwanyama’s and others are not considered. I have no time to be a government prosecutor if the situation is like this, the office of the PG needs to do some changes in terms of promotion”, he narrated.
Some prosecutors are complaining that since 2017 none of the Ovakwanyama speaking prosecutor were promoted to the rank of chief legal prosecutors/advocate, although there are those who are more than qualified for that position. This came after one of the prosecutors indicated that they are qualified to be at regional court or high court than the prosecutors who are being promoted.
“We really don’t know why we are not being elevated, I am not fighting for the high position as individual but, looking at my fellow prosecutors I wonder why other tribes beside Ndongas and Kwambies are not being elevated. As per the model of elevation, what hinders elevation is misconduct of which none of colleagues has. This could be tribal involvement”, the prosecutor stated.
Another prosecutor who turned his identity to be anonymous commented toward the favoritism of Ndongas and Kwambies, that it seems to be strong evidence pointing to tribal promotion or elevation in the office of the PG. The office seems to favor more of Ndongas and Kwambies at the expense of other tribes, as majority of those who were promoted since 2017 to date, to the position of chief legal/advocate are related to Ndongas and Kwambies.
“The office seems to favor these two tribes. Even stronger! There has never been a Kwanyama person that has been elevated to the position of chief legal officer in the office of the PG, since 2017. There are a lot of them (Kwanyama) that are serving and has served for longtime. Some of them are actually skipped by some people who came yesterday without any explanation being offered for such discussions”, he angrily commented.
He also suggested that there is segregation, that they have trap in of conclusion they are being segregated based on tribal lines.
One prosecutor got to point that he was never involved in misconduct, perhaps is because of section 174 stoppage, but he believes that could not be the reason. Furthermore, they (prosecutors) are complaining about more Zimbabweans occupy the positions of control prosecutor, while there are those who are capable of inhabiting such position.
Talking to OTJIFM during the interview the Prosecutor General (PG) said that she is a person who like transparency in her occupation when approaching things. She stated that she managed to recruit all colors under her office who like prosecution. “All the colors and tribes who love prosecution and applied are accommodated under my office”, she said.
Regarding the scheme of elevation, the PG explained that the staff members within the office of the prosecutor general are civil servants who are subjected to the public service act and public service law, made in terms of public service act by public services commission and by the office of the prime minister.
“The PG doesn’t create her own policy when it comes to recruitment, prosecutors are civil servants, and they have to be treated in the same manners as other civil servants. The only difference is that, when it comes to daily work, the job they do in terms of the Namibian constitution the PG is mandated to give delegation to civil servants who are appointed and want to become prosecutors. And that is then when they are called public prosecutors and they carry out the mandate subject to the control and direction given by the prosecutor general. But, when they are recruited the rules and the laws, being applied within the PG it’s the public service act and the rules and regulations made under”, she explained.
She also added that when it comes to elevation, that is a promotion in rank and internal scheme. If a person has a degree for him/her to move to another rank the legal officer, should at least have been a prosecutor for three years and then have to move to other ranks subjected by certification that his/her performance is satisfactory.
The PG clarified that if you have an LLB, the degree in law the prosecutor has to serve for three years and also subjected to certification while with the B Uris must have six years plus certification.
Who clarify that you are now able to, and your work is satisfactory for endorsement? With this question Iimalwa said, this is not based on the prosecutor general.
“As the prosecutor general, I am based in Windhoek. I do not know every prosecutor’s performance, but their control prosecutors know. Unless there are complains that the prosecutor is not doing his/her work well and I lodge the internal investigation”.
“But when it comes to the performance of prosecutors to be regarded satisfactory, I have the authority to control prosecutors at each and every magistrate court in Namibia, said Iimalwa.
With open-heart, Iimalwa says, when the form comes to her office with a recommendation that the prosecutor is satisfactory, her work is to approve and cannot say no.
“Who I am to say the person is not satisfactory if the control prosecutor approved?”, questioned PG.
PG is calling Namibians to tell truth in their daily life, asking for them not to crucify her as Jesus was crucified.
“People should know what they are speaking about. Everyone is welcome to visit my office and see how prosecutors are accommodated. In honesty, we all speak the official language, it is constitutional, how will I determine that this prosecutor came from which tribe? And who are these tribes?”
“I don’t think there is any office in this country that employ people of different tribes as my office”, shocked.
To the question PG was asked about many Zimbabweans that occupy the position of control-prosecutor, Iimalwa replied that over 34 control prosecutors, only five control-prosecutors are Zimbabwean in Namibia. She mentioned that they are only in Otjiwarongo, Karasberg, Oshakati, Gobabis and Opuwo.
She turned to raise the point that a lot of prosecutors don’t like to work at Opuwo.
“I am currently running two High Courts, the one in Oshakati and here in Windhoek. I need prosecutors to come to high court and train them. I am mature, I need to retire, and I want to leave the prosecution as I found it or to be better than what I was doing” she added.
PG is calling all government prosecutors to feel free and notify her if they want to be endorsed.
“I want to ensure that the prosecution of Namibia is capacitated”, concluded PG.