Finance Permanent Secretary, Ericah Shafudah, has hit back at Secretary to Cabinet, George Simataa, for insinuating that she was incompetent over her alleged misconduct regarding the National Oil Storage Facility Tender.
In a letter dated 9 May 2017, which was widely circulated on social media, Simataa accused Shafudah for “contributing to the development of a situation that is detrimental and prejudicial to the Government,” citing Shafudah’s failure to attend technical committee meetings.
Shafudah, however, hit back this week saying, “I consider such allegations/accusations as tarnishing my name and reputation that I continue to preserve.”
Shafudah is said to have been found guilty through an investigation, whose findings have not been availed to her. “Further, I was not given a chance to be heard, as provided for in the Namibian Constitution.
“I reject any opinion or insinuation from any quarter that describes me as an official who is incompetent and was negligent in the performance of duties as a permanent secretary of finance.”
Simataa refused to give a detailed response to Shafudah’s letter on Thursday, saying that he could not discuss the matter with the media. “That is fine. That’s her right. I am not going to respond on that matter,” he said.
In the letter to Shafudah, Simataa said while it was true that the finance permanent secretary had not attended the meetings and that the tender was in Namibian dollars and that the tender was all inclusive and that the Government did not assume any risk for currency fluctuations in the project, her failure to attend the technical committee meetings has enabled others to create the impression that Government had, in fact, assumed the risk for currency fluctuations.
Shafudah explained that she became a member of the technical committee by virtue of being permanent secretary of the ministry of finance.
Regarding the issue of currency fluctuations on the tender, she maintained that the tender was awarded in Namibian dollars.
“I presented this position to the technical committee in writing. I have also verbally and in writing stated this position on various occasions to the relevant authorities. This consistent position that I have always maintained has also been acknowledged as legally correct in the purported ‘Final Written Warning’ letter that is circulating in the media and social networks,” she said.