Contract extensions for retired top cops

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

DESPITE having reached the retirement age of 60 years, Namibian Police Deputy Inspector General Major General Oscar Embumbulu was recently accorded a one-year extension on his contract. Another official granted an extension is Commissioner Wilbard Naholo, who heads Nampol’s communication department.

Embumbulu and Naholo became the latest top law enforcement officials within the security sector to get their terms of offices extended, despite having reached retirement age. Recently Windhoek City Police chief Abraham Kanime was given a three-year extension on his contract with the City, a few days before his 60th birthday. Kanime will turn 60 years next week Tuesday.

Embumbulu, who turned 60 in March, confirmed to Confidente this week that he had reached retirement age but threatened to sue the newspaper if it reports on the issue. “Yes, I turned 60. Why are you asking? Do you want to write a story? I am not ready to divulge any information regarding that. It’s my privacy. If you attempt to write a story, I will sue you,” he warned.

Contacted for comment, Inspector-General of the Namibian Police Sebastian Ndeitunga confirmed having extended Embumbulu’s term of office. “Why are you asking? Members of the police who got extensions got it because their services were needed.

“It was extended by the Inspector-General. I am the one who requested him to stay. I told him that I needed his service for a year. He stayed on my request, he wanted to go. He went to ask his family if he could stay,” he said.

Ndeitunga added that he also extended Naholo’s term because his skill and expertise is needed by the police. During the one-year extension, Naholo is tasked to also train his successor.

By law the deputy inspector general, whose rank is major general, is appointed by the inspector general.  “If your service is needed, the system will ask you to stay but [it is] not for a person to ask the system to stay,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a case that came to light in 2017, The Namibian reported that Commissioner Christoph Nakanyala, who was due to officially retire in March 2018, applied to change his birthdate from 1958 to 1964 at the Ministry of Home Affairs. He thus subtracted seven years from his official age.

It was reported that Nakanyala informed the Home Affairs Ministry that he needed to reduce his age because during the liberation struggle he wanted to enlist in the People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan) in exile when he was just an 11-year-old boy. But as he was too young, he pretended to be 18 years old then.

In the case of Nakanyala, Ndeitunga said they had conducted an investigation, which included asking his (Nakanyala’s) church, family and people who grew up with him about when he was born. “We found out that he was right,” he noted.

In 2013 Ndeitunga, warned officials to desist from overstaying in the force beyond the age of 60, and said no further applications to extend employment beyond retirement would be approved.