Zambia’s High Commissioner in Namibia abusing employees, insulting Namibians

28 Mar 2013 – Story by Magreth Nunuhe

sinkala

Sinkala (middle) with President Hifikepunye Pohamba (right)

WINDHOEK – A number of current and former employees of Zambia’s High Commissioner to Namibia, Wendy Sinkala, have accused her of verbally abusing her Namibian domestic workers and of treating them as if they were modern-day slaves, according to the New Era newspaper of Namibia.

Chief among the accusations are physical and dehumanising treatment; working for long hours without pay; working non-stop without being given days off; being insulted for no apparent reason; unfair deductions, as well as abrupt dismissals. Workers at the High Commission also accuse the diplomat of making belittling and degrading remarks about Namibians in general.

The workers, most of whom spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation, said that when they signed contracts with the High Commission, they were promised benefits such as medical aid, social security and housing, but when they made enquiries, they were told that these were already included within their contracts.

According to one worker, who was sobbing when approached for comment, Sinkala is so abusive that workers have to wash her hands when she takes her meals, they must clean her shoes, wait for her at the door when she enters her residence and she expects them to run up and down a staircase of 25 steps to serve her.

The High Commissioner allegedly manhandled one of the employees when things were not done according to her wishes. Some of the domestic workers complained that they were forced to work from 07h00 to 17h00 without a lunch break. Those who dare to eat food at the High Commissioner’s residence face summary dismissal.

“She treated us like we are dogs,” lamented one of the former workers who said she left her job because of the continued ill treatment by the diplomat who usually brags that she is untouchable, possibly in reference to her diplomatic status.

She said when there are functions, Sinkala never hires a professional catering service or a chef, but lets the employees do the cooking and cleaning even though it is not part of their job descriptions.

Apparently the High Commissioner insists on being served in bed and having her shoes carried to the bedroom by domestic workers. “She fired G4S security guards like nothing. Every time you would hear her saying: ‘Send me another one’,” said the former employee.

Sinkala apparently changes her domestic workers at will and when the employees try to talk to her, her customary reply is a curt: ‘I don’t talk to low class people, don’t bring me to your standards.’

Another former domestic worker claimed that N$300 was deducted from her salary for “closing the curtains late” while N$495 was also deducted from her salary for not changing the decoder to Zambian television on time.

Sinkala who became the new High Commissioner to Namibia in January 2012, changed the working hours of 08h00-16h00 for one of her domestics to 08h00-17h00 without a salary raise. When the High Commissioner has guests the live-in employees apparently have to work from 06h00 to 24h00 without being paid overtime. “She called us foolish and she insults us. It was so awful to work for her,” recalled another one of the many disgruntled former employees.

John Puriza, who worked as a driver for the High Commission for three years and was fired on Tuesday, alleges that he was fired for not picking up the High Commissioner at the airport last Friday, even though he had made it clear that he was not working on that day since he had worked on Zambian Day. On a separate occasion Sinkala apparently hit him with the car door for not opening her door on time and said: ‘You see your boss, but you are still sitting.’

The former driver, who has now filed a complaint with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quoted Sinkala as having said: ‘You are stupid, if I fire you, you will suffer.’

Puriza said that they raised several complaints with the High Commission’s First Secretary one Mr Lombe, but nothing came of it.

Sinkala could not be reached for comment, but the Deputy High Commissioner Samson Mujuda said the accusations were “total lies” when New Era reached him. He claims that all the allegations are false since the High Commission complies with all the labour laws of Namibia. “I never got any report of that nature. If they had problems, they could have communicated with me,” he said, adding that they were free to speak to him, because he is the administrator at the Zambian High Commission in Windhoek.

He said the complaints are coming from people who were disciplined for wrongdoing. On the issue of overtime, Mujuda said that in some contracts overtime was already embedded within the workers’ salaries. “Workers are in different classifications,” he said, dismissing allegations that some workers were performing duties outside what is stipulated in their contracts. He further dismissed claims that the High Commissioner had physically or verbally abused any employee, adding that as an immediate supervisor he frequently goes to the residence and has never seen anything like that.

“I sit with them like brother and sister and give them opportunity to talk,” he claimed.

Approached for comment, Foreign Affairs Chief of Protocol, Mbapeua Muvangua, said that he has not received any complaints about the situation at the Zambian High Commission. He said the High Commissioner cannot be taken to court because she enjoys diplomatic immunity. However, he said diplomats are under obligation to respect the labour law and all other laws of Namibia

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58 Responses to "Zambia’s High Commissioner in Namibia abusing employees, insulting Namibians"

  1. Silencer  March 29, 2013 at 14:40

    Shame on PF not ZAMBIA –

    We don’t know the criteria used to appoint these diplomats weather its on merit or by “KU YANGANA CHABE PAMASO” in the family and friends TREE.

    The quality of Zambian Ambassadors appointed out there leaves much to be desired ! WORRYING BIG TIME! NO diplomatic etiquettes and qualifications, its either they are as a result of tribalism, nepotism or family and friends tree arrangements and its called “JOB CREATION ON TAX PAYERS MONEY”

    Some of them are MENTAL RETARDED CASES AS YOU may be ALL well AWARE of some of them representing Zambia ! What Signals AND image are we Sending internationally ????????

  2. Hannah  March 29, 2013 at 04:43

    I just want to say I

  3. the general  March 29, 2013 at 01:04

    Zambia embassy in Namibia should be reported to employment commission (EEOC)of Namibia for such deed

  4. Woman of Substance  March 28, 2013 at 20:45

    First comment from me!

    Mujuda, I am sorry you are a raw and an inexperienced ‘employer’. When allegations are made, you don’t dismiss them immediately but arrange to ‘hear the other party’ whoever is involved. I know you were treated like slaves at the Post but please don’t fear Wendy. Appear to be objective so that you can get to the bottom of the allegations however false they may be.

    As for Susan Sikaneta, that is how she is. She worked for the Anti Corruption Commission but is the most corrupt person I have ever known. She got all the appointments bot by merit but by emotional support of her bosses. She doesn’t know a thing about her work.

  5. BM  March 28, 2013 at 19:36

    Ba Mayo bana Sinkala Could this be the reason why Namibia has abrubptly trebled the varsity fees for Zambians? Madam HC do something, we are behind you.

  6. Bishop Aringarosa  March 28, 2013 at 19:33

    Wendy Sinkala is surving through BP and became Namibian High Commissioner by bedding one of the PF Top Dogs . This woman is a relic from the FTJ Chiluba Regime who served as Deputy Foreign Minister in the 90s and Kabwe MP. Zambia as a Nation is getting nothing from her services and the chief beneficiaries of the posting is her belly and pocket.

    • BM  March 28, 2013 at 19:42

      @Bishop Aringorosa, umuchinshi,
      This lady is hardworking and is there to serve Zambian interests. Please mama look at the varsity fees which have abruptly been trbled to disadvantage the Zambian students. Find a way to offer scholarships to them.

  7. The Eyes of an Eagle up in the sky.  March 28, 2013 at 16:16

    Close supervision and supervising your subordinates does not mean pamputi-pamputi !awe mune naSinkala.Sober up.Workers are also human and have feelings.Elo ako ka govt job is temporal and its just a matter of Days or Months you will soon be back home as a disgraced hyena.Treat people with dignity and respect they deserve.

  8. Great Hunter  March 28, 2013 at 14:55

    In Zambia, investors accused of abusing employees are not even given second hearing. They fly by the first next flight wherever it is heading to. Wendy must change or else this is reflecting badly on her conduct. After all she is not diplomat material, just mere secretary from Zambia Railways

    • I have seen it before  March 28, 2013 at 14:57

      there is no such thing as diplomat material, they all behave the same.they even more mean to Zambians seeking services at those embassies.

    • BM  March 28, 2013 at 19:27

      Awee! amajealousy fye

  9. Chibombebombe  March 28, 2013 at 14:48

    Just give her to me to give her what she misses – good time between the bed sheets.

  10. Concord  March 28, 2013 at 14:45

    Let us hope the story is not true. If true,then the woman is heartless, very cruel and pompuos.

  11. Evans Mbulo  March 28, 2013 at 14:44

    Is this the Mujuda who was at the Post? Kwena balelila ba former Post workers. As for Sinkala, she should realise that her time will come to vacate that office. Hence the need to be civil and not embarrass with unbecoming behaviour.

  12. sitondekwa  March 28, 2013 at 14:04

    Is she married? Sinkala has become rabid because she has missed IT big time. No injection or servicing. Ka Masebo kalelolefyeeee kabili service ilipo kawaya!!

  13. WAZABANGA  March 28, 2013 at 14:02

    COMPLAINTS CANT JUST COME FROM NOWHERE BUT AUTOMATICALLY MR LOMBE CANT DISGRACE THE BOSS PUBLICLY EVEN HE KNOWS SOMETHING.BUT A WORD TO THE DIPLOMAT IS THAT CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOR, EQUALLY HERE OUR FATHERS, BROTHERS,SISTERS AND MOTHERS SOME OF THEM ARE WORKING FOR MISSIONS AND WE DON’T EXPECT THEM TO BE SUBJECTED TO SUCH SO RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE PLEASE TWAPAPATA SHOW EVERYTHING GOOD ABOUT ZAMBIA AND NOT THAT NONSENSE WE DON’T LIKE IT

  14. Ngilingindo  March 28, 2013 at 13:59

    hahahaha..its simple..the govt of Namibia should just deport her..ask her to leave their country!she looks so mean!!

  15. Truth Seeker  March 28, 2013 at 13:15

    Some people defend everything, something seems to be wrong!
    Too many people complaining!O doubt if this is a deliberate ploy to embarass her!

  16. riddick  March 28, 2013 at 12:58

    What do you expect sata put her there why would you expect any different from this swamp monster looking slut

  17. annoyed  March 28, 2013 at 12:55

    Stupid i.diot wendy. Adiploma must treat people diplomatically. Not this rug called Wenddy

  18. annoyed  March 28, 2013 at 12:53

    Wendy is embarrassing the country she is useless. She is not fit to be a Diplomat.

  19. Umkontwe We Sizwe  March 28, 2013 at 12:33

    Just why madam? Take it easy

  20. francismutale chikwanda  March 28, 2013 at 12:23

    SHE IS NOT THE ONLY ONE EVEN SUSAN SIKANETA IN INDIA SHE IS DEVIL THE WOMAN WHO WAS EVEN PROUD TO ANNOUNCE IN THE STAFF MEETING THAT SHE DELIVERED THE SUITS FOR THE PRESIDENT TO STATE HOUSE ,SHE EVEN INFORMED HER MEMBERS OF STAFF THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS SUPPOSE TO BE THE GUEST OF HONOR AT SONS WEDDING IN NDOLA BUT HE COULD NOT MAKE IT HE ENDED UP SENDING OUR FINANCE MINISTER HON CHIKWANDA TO BE THE GUEST OF HONOR .MOST OF THE TIME SHE USES OUR PRESIDENT”S NAME WHEN DOING DIRT JOBS FOR HER SELF.SHE IS PAYING RENT FOR THE HOUSE WHICH WAS BEING OCCUPIED BY ANDREW BANDA SOMETIME BACK BECAUSE SHE GETS A CUT OF IT .HONESTLY HOW CAN ONE PAY FOR THE HOUSE WHICH HAVE NO TENANT ,TAX PAYERS MONEY IS BEING WASTED IN INDIA BY THIS WOMAN.SHE OCCUPIES A HOUSE WHICH MONEY EXPENSIVE THAN THE ZAMBIA HIGH COMMISSION OFFICES .SHE HAS SPENT HUGE AMOUNTS OF DOLLARS TO RENOVATE THE OFFICE WITHOUT TENDER PROCEDURE .SHE SPENDS GOVT FUNDS TO HOLD FUNCTIONS AT HOME CONTRARY TO FOREIGN SERVICE REGULATIONS .SUCH PIPO ARE DESTROYING PF KABIMBA PLEASE FLASH HER OUT SHE HAS CONNECTION WITH THE HON SHAMENDA AND HON CHIKWANDA THESE TWO MINISTERS PROTECTS HER ALL THE TIME

  21. Bantustan By God's Design - EQTB  March 28, 2013 at 12:18

    I do not know anything about the High Commissioner in Namibia and commenting on her conduct if true will be unfair for me.

    However, I have found the allegations mind boggling and very unfortunate for Zambia’s image in Namibia especially that “there is no smoke without fire”.

    If the allegations are untrue, it also time for Wendy Sinkala to have a moment of introspection and take an audit of personal character and interaction with workers at whatever level.

    If the allegations are true and the mission staff are just disputing that to cover up for the diplomat’s mischievous activities and inhuman conditions she is subjecting the support staff to, she is soon to be embarrassed because the workers will trap her so that her activities will have no way of covering up.

    The diplomats that we have under PF should be advised to desist from behaving like political cadres even when they are because they are Zambia’s Public Relations & Marketing Managers in their countries of accreditation.

    Not ma Rubbish yamene bachita!

  22. Mpongo Muleya  March 28, 2013 at 11:53

    By appointing people like Wendi into the diplomatic service who are not career diplomats, Zambia is already washing its dirty linen in the public.

    • I have seen it before  March 28, 2013 at 12:49

      even the so-called career diplomats do such things. I have seen an Ambassador (career diplomat) and his staff convincing with foreigners to get a Zambian in diaspora fired. bonse tamwapusana,. ni chimozi mozi

  23. Jacky Gondwe  March 28, 2013 at 11:41

    One sided story!

    • rubble rouser  March 28, 2013 at 11:52

      it was most likely written by an embassy staff who has been recalled.when the chaps are recalled, they are so bitter that they want to ring everyone down with them.

  24. Bob Sichinga  March 28, 2013 at 11:37

    i heard she also demands to fucked by male employees that is why she demands that they send her shoes in her bedroom. It is fuck for free at the embassy in Namibia bane

  25. lost for words  March 28, 2013 at 11:37

    Mr. Mbapeua Muvangua, are you trying to say that the diplomatic immunity of Zambian High Commissioner posted overseas applies also within territory of the Republic of Zambia?
    If that is the case, you are WRONG.
    Furthermore, “inhuman treatment” of another human being does NOT enjoy diplomatic immunity. IT IS stated in the works of ILC.
    Such wrong doings when done by the diplomatic personal become “Wrongful Acts of State” as clearly defined by the International Law Commission (2001).

  26. shylock  March 28, 2013 at 11:31

    IWE CHINYO CHOBE WENDY BEHAVE YOURSELF. YOU ARE EMBARRASSING OUR COUNTRY. ANYWAY WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM THESE PEOPLE WHO USE THEIR VAGINAS TO BE BE APPOINTED SOMETHING? WABA ICHINYO ICHASASA. CHIKALA CHA WISO, IDIOT.

    • wanabe  March 28, 2013 at 12:06

      You’re a disgrace to humankind and waste of space! Repent before it is too late!

  27. KABWE RESIDENT  March 28, 2013 at 11:16

    THAT IS BAD PUBLIC RELATIONS MOMMY.I USED TO SEE WENDY SINKALA WHEN I WAS A KABWE RESIDENT IN LATE 80’S WHEN SHE WAS WORKING FOR ZAMBIA RAILWAYS AS A SHUNTER.I THINK SHE IS IN THE WRONG POSITION.SOMEONE WHO USED TO SWITCH RAIL ENGINES ENDED UP AS DIPLOMAT.WERE ARE GOING.PRO.CLIVE CHIRWA NEEDS HER SKILL NOT INSULTING NAMIBIAN.NAMBIA IS A GOOD COUNTRY.THIS IS MISPLACEMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCE.

  28. Magwenauka  March 28, 2013 at 11:10

    Sinkala is just a simple woman who is lucky to have a job in this evil pf govt.The govt of Namibia should lodge an official conplaint and declare sinkala “persona non ngranta” and flash her out of that country.

  29. Joe Imasiku  March 28, 2013 at 11:09

    This is a made up story by people who are dshonest and lazy. I know the driver who was dismissed for stealing fuel by refueling his personal car and that of his friend from the High Commission’s account at the local filling station. When he was quizzed about it he was arrogant and rude but it was confirmed by the petrol attendant that extra vehicles were consuming fuel meant for the embassy. This man was dismissed and bitter for this action, he has embarked on a campaign to discredit the High Commissioner for no apparent reason. The woman is very motherly and only demands hard work and honest. It is not right to bring her good name into public direpute like this.This is cheap and shameful propaganda.

  30. cpk  March 28, 2013 at 11:05

    rich or poor, the fact is that we are all human so lets treat one another with respect.mr sata cal her back before she put our country into unknown trouble.no smoke without fire

  31. honset  March 28, 2013 at 11:03

    ala mayo uyu is really bad!! We used to work together sometime back, all used to complain about her atitude towards others. so evil like in a Nigerian movie.

  32. Cameron  March 28, 2013 at 10:58

    We are now washing our dirty linen in foreign countries.
    Results of “RUGS to RICHES”, what can one expect from a group of thugs when they’re given all the powers?
    Re call the bitch before she embarrasses us any further!

  33. BM  March 28, 2013 at 10:51

    Could this be the reason why they have abrubptly trebled the varsity fees for Zambians? Madam HC do something, we are behind you.

  34. BM  March 28, 2013 at 10:48

    Could this be the reason why Namibia has abrubptly trebled the varsity fees for Zambians? Madam HC do something, we are behind you.

  35. Tom Lepsky  March 28, 2013 at 10:17

    Zambia Railways is being revitalised. Perhaps Wendy should should go back there and claim her job of being a shunter. At least train wagons are insenstive no matter how much you push them around.

    • NACHI  March 28, 2013 at 10:40

      Unfair comment

      • Bimbo  March 28, 2013 at 14:02

        And UKWA go back to sweeping platforms. Maybe he can manage that because he cannot manage this job he has got!

    • Bubbles  March 28, 2013 at 14:02

      Hahahaha spot on Tom.

  36. zondwa  March 28, 2013 at 10:13

    What do you expect from these hungry dogs masquarading as honourables and diplomat. PF is just an embarrasment to zambia.

  37. G  March 28, 2013 at 10:00

    World of complaints indeed.

    Lets respect people the way they are poor or not.

  38. Old Katuba Boys  March 28, 2013 at 09:55

    I mwe recall this woman, Why are you leting her put the country’s name into direpute?

  39. Ignorance  March 28, 2013 at 09:45

    Can Somebody without bad language tell me what Good PF has done so far!!!PLZ

    • lions head  March 28, 2013 at 10:11

      increasing the pay for all government employees,the least getting 2.9.by harvest employment for accountants. todays newspaper will tell you more my fellow Zambia. P.F will keep doing good,were you are not happy please inform us or correct us.what we want is to develop Zambia with everyone.thank you

    • CHAMBOLI H5 KITWE  March 28, 2013 at 10:58

      THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING BT SHIT.

    • Bimbo  March 28, 2013 at 14:04

      They have renamed the airports. But they have failed at everything else.

  40. Kadewele  March 28, 2013 at 09:42

    Donchi Kubeba style

  41. mwansa  March 28, 2013 at 09:41

    Wendy have you forgotten how you left Ethiopia…you cried for days and days…..

  42. idris  March 28, 2013 at 09:40

    If it is true,blame it on our interactions with the Chinese,they are really indoctrinating us with strange labour relations

  43. Mfumu  March 28, 2013 at 09:39

    Some people are just out right cruel. Plain evil to the core! This is common among some of the so called elite in Zambia (and the world over) who think by being in a position of privilege, they can treat people of humble status who work for them as their possessions. These unfortunate workers are as human as everyone. Get tired and deserve the respect and dignity like any human being.

  44. Kgalema  March 28, 2013 at 09:36

    What do you expect from these PF idiots.

    • idris  March 28, 2013 at 09:41

      What has PF got to do with it

      • Kgalema  March 28, 2013 at 09:53

        She is a PF political appointee you moron. She was appointed by Sata.

Comments are closed.