Namibian Government Loses Millions in Funeral Tender
August 28, 2018
Hollard Namibia is the biggest private insurance group in the country. The Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare is Zephania Kameeta. The minister agrees that the ministry has the responsibility of leading the war against poverty. And it was this that led to them putting out a funeral tender again.
In 2013 that the ministry lengthened Hollard Life Namibia’s contract to pay out funeral benefits for 8 months. And that was despite evidence that the government could have saved a fortune by cutting out the private company. However, Hollard got the funeral tender in 2013 when cabinet secretary George Simataa was the permanent secretary.
So at a premium of N$17,12 for each beneficiary, the funeral tender involves the ministry buying funeral insurance from Hollard Life Namibia, and when a recipient passes on, a death claim is lodged with the poverty eradication ministry. The ministry allows the undertaker to provide services up to a cover of N$3 200. The undertaker then claims the money from Hollard Life Namibia.
Hollard Pockets Millions in Funeral Tender Messup
Documents reveal that the government has paid the company N$197 million since 2013, but with Hollard only paying out claims worth N$103 million. So Hollard has made a profit of N$94 million since 2013 thanks to the funeral tender.
The government extended the contract by 8 months. And that was after the former permanent secretary, I-Ben Nashandi, voiced concern about doing business with Hollard Life Namibia.
Corrosion of money in Politics?
There are always whistle-blowers. Importantly, these people believe that there are politicians who deny that money has an impact on the decisions they make. These are decisions which aren’t in line with others in the ministry or of the general public.
It is evident that there was an issue at Ministry of Poverty Eradication. The tender for the funeral benefits for elderly and disability grant beneficiaries awarded to Hollard Insurance was coming to an end in July 2018. The Permanent Secretary, as a cost saving measure, pushed for the Ministry to pay the benefit.
Kameeta however wanted to extend the contract with Hollard which could have saved the government around N$48 million.
Former poverty eradication secretary, i-Ben Nashandi has been concerned about keeping Hollard Life on board, and Nashandi, in the Prime Minister’s office, wrote to the CPB or Central Procurement Board in June 2018 saying that the government would be better off without the payment process having a middleman.
According to him, the poverty eradication ministry brought about reform, which included consultations with the finance ministry, Hollard as well as the attorney general’s office.
Money and Political Outcomes
Money in politics is always there, and often works favourably for certain people. The poverty eradication minister opted to extend the contract with Hollard until March 2019 while the government comes up with other alternatives.
Significantly, many people believe that Zephania Kameeta pushed for the extension of the contract. Kameeta denied allegations that he pushed for Hollard to get the contract extended, saying that he didn’t even know Hollard.
Jaco Lamprecht, Hollard Life Namibia’s chief executive officer, told the Namibia that they weren’t aware of plans to terminate their contract.
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All info was correct at time of publishing