IMAGE: Namibia Fact Check / WhatsApp
A screenshot warning people to be careful of a message offering a teaching post in the Omusati region has been viral in WhatsApp groups
The message that has been screenshot-ed informs the receiver of the message that they have qualified for an interview for a teaching post in a rural constituency in northern Namibia and that if they “want to get the post immediately and I select you, you have to pay a amount of N$500”.
The full screenshot-ed message that includes the warning reads as follows:
It is unclear who made the screenshot or when the actual message was sent or received, and when the screenshot was taken or even when the warning message started circulating in WhatsApp groups.
Namibia Fact Check tried to find out who the number in the screenshot belonged to and fed it into the Truecaller app, a widely used caller-identification and blocking application. As soon as the number was entered into Truecaller the app stated “Scammer Dont Trust” (image below)
The ministry’s response
At the end of August, Namibia Fact Check approached the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to respond to the teaching post offer in the viral warning message. An official response, signed by the executive director Sanet Steenkamp, was received on 2 September 2023.
The education ministry response states:
“The vacant post referred to in the message does exist at Opawa Combined School and the interviews were conducted on 15 August 2023 at Etayi circuit, Omusati region, and upon the completion of the recruitment process, the successful candidate will be appointed.
The Ministry does not require any payment from job applicants, because jobs are not for sale in government. In fact, it is illegal for any official to demand payment from job applicants or any services freely provided to the public by the state.
The message is not authentic because it has no link to any of our Human Resources (HR) officials both at the Head Office and Omusati Region Education Directorate. In addition, the Ministry does not contact prospective employees or applicants in such an informal manner, neither do we require any payment for any position.
The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture urges the public not to respond to any suspicious messages, but to verify the authenticity of such messages with the Ministry.”
Furthermore, the ministerial statement also encourages the public to report officials who request payment for jobs or services to the ministry, or the regional education directorate or the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).