GRN vehicles with expired licenses allowed on roads

Directive still effective

12 January 2022 | Police

Deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi, Namibian police spokeswoman: “Although the Namibian police force is not here to justify the so-called bias approach, it is equally not appropriate to equate the circumstances that surrounded the government vehicles to that of the ordinary members of the public.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]



The Inspector General of the Namibian police, Lieutenant General Sebastian Ndeitunga, instructed police traffic law enforcement officers in all regions on 16 July 2021, “to not issue tickets on expired government (GRN) vehicles, but rather allow the vehicles to travel”.

He issued the directive to all regional commanders after his office received numerous complaints in terms of GRN motor vehicles drivers receiving tickets from traffic law enforcement officers for expired license discs, which allegedly resulted in the draught relief distribution program in rural areas not to materialize because of the expired license discs.

Specific reference was made to a matter in which Milka Tjiveta of the refugee management programme was fined N$1 000 (or summoned to court) at Ongwediva’s taxi rank on 29 July 2021 after allegedly operating a GRN vehicle of which the license expired five months earlier (28 February 2021).

Tjiveta afterwards did communicate the matter to the transport office in Windhoek, who in turn confirmed that some of the ministry's licence disks are still to be issued and collected from the government garage. They “promised to go there the next day to check if they are ready”.

The following day, Tjiveta’s licence disc for GRN 23246 was collected and couriered to Oshakati to be placed on the vehicle.

In the meantime, the executive director of the ministry of home affairs Etienne Maritz issued a letter (dated 6 July) to the works and transport ministry’s executive director Esther Kaapanda informing her of his request to the police to exempt prosecution for expired license discs for GRN vehicles. “Your esteemed office is hereby informed that due to delays in renewal of license disc by the government garage, essential services rendered by the ministry cannot be stopped or postponed due to the nature of the services rendered by the department of home affairs. This results in the issuance of traffic tickets at roadblocks to our staff members while driving government vehicles on official missions and assignments,” wrote Maritz.

He said that his office had apparently informed the Namibia police’s department of traffic law enforcement, who in turn “understands the delays experienced with the renewal of license disc for government vehicles”.

Maritz’ letter was soon followed by Ndeitunga’s instruction to regional police commanders. NMH Erongo is in possession of all the communication.

When approached for comment as to whether the instruction is still in force, and how this instruction should be seen in light of the many general citizens who are prosecuted because of expired car licences (several having been issued fines during the past festive season) - how this justifies the police’s bias approach, police spokeswoman deputy commissioner Kauna Shikwambi confirmed the letter that “unfortunately and mysteriously landed in the possession of the media house concerned”.

She explained that exemption was given to facilitate undisrupted service delivery, and to aid all essential services, while the Ministry of Works and Transport’s legal team “is sorting out the issue of licenses”. “The directive of the inspector general of police remains effective until further notice,” she told Erongo 24/7.

Shikwambi said statistics on how many tickets have been issued to GRN vehicles with expired licences since the start of 2021 were not ready but would be provided at a later stage.

According to her the directive was of a temporary nature and done in the best interest of all the citizens, as in the absence of critical government services from different ministries, citizens could be negatively affected. “Although the Namibian police force is not here to justify the so-called bias approach with the above response, it is equally not appropriate to equate the circumstances that surrounded the government vehicles to that of the ordinary members of the public, as government vehicles are there to serve the whole nation, whereas vehicles of normal citizens are there to serve their respective needs individually,” Shikwambi concluded her response.

Erongo 24/7 publication did contact the transport ministry’s director of transportation policy and regulation Cedric Limbo for comment, and after explaining the issue, was told he would call back. After he did not call back, a follow-up call by this publication went unanswered.

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