How to enable whispers to be created by basic users?

We are running the latest-release+131 but the test users (trust level = basic user though I did try raising that to level3) do not see the gear icon in composer that enable toggling the “whisper” mode.

My account is moderator&admin and the gear icon is there.

I enabled and disabled the “enable whispers” setting but that did not have any effect.

Is there some additional conditions that need to happen for the whisper to be enabled?

No, whispers is a staff-only feature.

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Use the existing private message facilities for private user-to-user or user-to-multiple-users conversations.