9 months ago

New Era Newspaper Wednesday July 5 2017

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2 NEWS Wednesday, July 5 2017 | NEW ERA Product of New Era Publication Corporation Abattoir cancels workers’ hearing after Nafau arrives (Daniel Tjongarero House) Corner of Dr W Kulz and Kerby Streets Tel: 061 - 273 300 P/Bag 13364 Windhoek Registered as a newspaper, Certificate No. 06/08/91 EDITOR Chrispin Inambao EDITORIAL Tel: +264 61 - 273 328 Fax: +264 61 - 235 419 EDITORIAL BOARD: Toivo Ndjebela, Chrispin Inambao, Desie Heita, Helvi Shaanika, Kae Matundu-Tjiparuro, Carlos Kambaekwa REGIONAL OFFICES Katima Mulilo Office: Tel: +264 66 - 253 049 Cell: +264 81 488 6594 / +264 81 124 2895 Rundu Office: Tel: +264 66 - 256 298 Cell +264 81 217 1888 Ongwediva Office: Tel: +264 65 - 238 990 Fax: +264 65 - 231 305 Tsumeb Office: Tel: +264 67 - 221 652 Cell: +264 81 456 8643 Swakopmund Office: Cell: +264 81 217 9739 Cell: +264 81 204 8078 Keetmanshoop Office: Tel: +264 63 - 222 057 Cell: +264 81 312 5975 Luderitz Office: Tel: +264 63 - 204 180 Cell: +264 81 245 9714 DISTRIBUTION & SUBSCRIPTIONS Ernst Apollus Tel: +264 61 - 273 326 Fax: +264 61 - 220 584 MARKETING, SALES & PRODUCTION Festus Goseb Tel: +264 61 - 273 322 Fax: +264 61 - 220 584 Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop Natural Namibian Meat Products, an abattoir at Aranos, had to cancel a disciplinary hearing after the Namibian Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau) showed up to represent workers in the hearing. The workers claim the hearing was due to take place yesterday, but the company cancelled it at the eleventh hour, because a representative from Nafau turned up to represent the workers during the planned hearing. All 53 workers at the abattoir face disciplinary action and have received letters informing them to be present at the hearing for allegedly taking part in an illegal strike last month, but the workers said the company cancelled “The [SME] bank should be closed, finish and klaar,” was the reaction of the secretary general of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), Job Muniaro Muniaro, when contacted for comment yesterday. In contrast, the Namibia Financial Institutions Union (Nafinu) referred to the statement it issued on June 7 to the effect that the closure of SME Bank would “cause unnecessary discomfort, further unemployment and loss of state resources”. “Unless there are new developments in the court papers filed by the BoN today, our stance still stands,” an adamant Nafinu deputy general secretary Famuel Vries said. Nafinu has more than 200 members employed at SME Bank. In his statement, Shiimi said the Bank of Namibia was “aware of the anxiety these actions may cause resulting in greater reliance on acting judges to assist. In short, the establishment has not kept pace with the increased demands placed on the judges,” Chief Justice Shivute remarked. He further said this was felt even more strongly in the civil stream of the court, which at the main division (Windhoek) has been organised into a Civil Actions Stream and a Motions Stream. He said the volume and range of matters the court is required to adjudicate on is now even more varied and complex. “When legislation is passed, which the hearing, because they do not want the union to be present. The workers said they were ready for the hearing and their employer did not inform them of any changes, but after the arrival of Nafau the company promptly cancelled the hearing. One of the shopstewards, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals, said the abattoir was reluctant to allow the workers to be represented by any union, and workers were not surprised the hearing was cancelled at the last minute. “They cancelled the hearing after they saw the union representative here. They do not want the union to be present. We do not understand why. Maybe they just want to do whatever they want with the workers,” he said. The letters served to the workers employees, depositors, creditors and other interested parties alike.” He then called for calm during this period of transition and urged all stakeholders to cooperate fully and exercise the necessary patience. BoN invoked Section 56 of the Banking Institutions Act in March and assumed control of the SME Bank’s assets, liabilities and all its business affairs. This came after the central bank failed to get any satisfactory answers regarding the N0 million of depositors’ money, which SME Bank had invested with South African institutions. BoN at the time also relieved the SME Bank’s board of directors of their duties and sacked the top management, including chief executive officer Tawanda Mumvuma, the general manager for treasury and the finance manager. The central bank has since gone on record to say it regards much of that money “lost”, as there was no imposes additional responsibilities on the courts, consideration is not always given to what resources the courts will need to cope with the increased workload which comes with such legislation,” he stressed. Shivute said the judiciary was concerned about the pressure under which judges are working at the moment and feels the permanent establishment of the court should reflect the reality on the ground. For instance, he said, there are only four judges deployed in the Actions Stream and three in the Motions Stream in the Civil Division. A judge in the Actions Stream manages about 250 files, while a judge in the Motions Stream manages about indicate that they face three charges: participating in an illegal strike; involving themselves in acts detrimental to the employer; and failing to follow policies and procedures set out in the work contract, but the workers are adamant they have done nothing wrong. They say they will not accept any false charge of wrongdoing, as none of them were involved in any strike - whether legal or illegal - and that they had simply gathered at the office during their lunch-hour to enquire about unpaid overtime, which had not been paid for April and May. Nafau Mariental branch organiser Sesilia Endjala concurred with the workers, saying they did not do anything wrong and that the disciplinary hearing was thus uncalled for. assurance it could be recovered. Two weeks ago, the South African Reserve Bank subpoenaed all South African banks and financial institutions that transacted with SME Bank in Namibia to confirm what SME Bank funds are still on their books, if any. New Era previously reported on the vast amounts deposited by SME Bank in South African institutions before the money was disinvested - without making any return on investments - and channelled to other institutions, apparently without any valid explanations. One institution had in fact flagged SME Bank transactions as “suspicious” and closed the accounts. Muniaro said the NUNW welcomes the move to shut down SME Bank, “since it has lost its purpose,” and blamed the current crisis at the bank on the way the institution had been run up to the point it was taken over by the central bank. 50 files at any given moment. He said this is an enormous responsibility, given that with the introduction of judicial case management in the High Court, the role of a judge has changed from a passive umpire to an active case manager. Shivute said the situation was no better in the Criminal Stream. “Often cases take long to complete, because there are many witnesses involved, forensic laboratory results are invariably delayed, and in many cases mental observation schedulings are problematic. “The result is that cases are often postponed and judges finalise fewer cases than is desirable.” She said: “There was nothing wrong done by the workers, they just demanded what is rightfully theirs and it was during their lunch, but they (the managers) just want to intimidate the workers,” Endjala accused the company of sabotaging Nafau’s efforts to represent the workers, as the company allegedly refused to deduct union fees from members’ salaries, and workers were thus forced to pay in cash. The company’s administrative manager, Adele Visser, had little to say when contacted for comment, saying only that in terms of company policy she was not allowed to speak to or give any information to the press. “I am sorry but it is company policy that we not give any information to the press,” she said. The SME Bank was meant to help small medium enterprises business, but ended up financing big and well established companies and others, “which in my view are not small companies”, Muniaro said. port will offer an added advantage for the country and should be fully optimised by traders. He went on to say the dry port would broaden trade routes for Zimbabwe, while also increasing his country’s business competitiveness. “Namibia’s kindness in awarding landlocked countries access to international trade routes cannot be overemphasised, thus we must make use of this facility,” he said. Mushohwe also suggested Namibia and Zimbabwe look at what is being produced and needed within the two countries, so that they rather trade such commodities between themselves, instead of shipping it overseas. He also thanked Namibia for supporting Zimbabwe. “Namibia is one of the few countries that have stood by us during the most difficult times, such as when we faced sanctions and other challenges. “It is clear that our relations go back to the days of our liberation struggle and is still growing from strength to strength,” he said.

Wednesday, July 5 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 3 CN still in financial limbo Alvine Kapitako Windhoek The Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) is yet to recover from its financial woes and is calling on sponsors to come to its rescue. CCN needs at least N million to continue with its operations as a non-governmental organization (NGO). “We are still in the same situation. If there are people who want to come on board, that would help,” Ludwig Beukes, the acting secretary general of the CCN, confirmed to New Era yesterday. New Era reported in May this year the CCN owes the Windhoek Municipality N9,000 for electricity and N8,000 for water. At the time, the council owed Telecom Namibia N,000 and its telephone line has been disconnected for the last six months. “We managed to pay some of our municipality debts and we currently have water and electricity,” said Beukes. However, the telephone line is still disconnected as that debt has not been settled. “Here and there some individuals contacted us to assist and there was a company that pledged assistance to paint our building,” said Beukes. When this publication visited the CCN yesterday staff could be seen basking in the sun, seemingly an indication of no work. Beukes told New Era in an earlier interview that some of its programmes had to be stopped because of a lack of funds. The faith, justice and society unit at the CCN – which had the important task of teaching society on matters related to faith and justice – had to close down completely because of no funds. Similarly, the gender-based violence unit had to be shifted to a member church in order to sustain it. Beukes also said they had to sell two houses, one in Wanaheda and another in Pioneers Park, to settle some of its debts, but this did not solve the council’s financial woes. The organisation derives its income from donors who were the main financial source, member churches as well as through the rental of some of its properties. Following Namibia’s classification as a middle-income country many donors withdrew from Namibia as well as their support of CCN and other organisations they had funded. File photo Ludwig Beukes, the CCN’s acting SG Veteran Muundjua retires to his beloved Old Location shrine Kae MaÞunÿu-Tjiparuro Windhoek One of the streets in Windhoek may sooner or later be named after John Garvey Muundjua. This is if anything ever comes of the promise of Windhoek mayor, Muesee Kazapua. Kazapua wished so at the funeral service of the late liberation struggle stalwart in Katutura over the weekend where he also took the community to task for not championing the history of their heroes and heroines, such as the late Muundjua, saying unless the communities themselves relate and write the history and heroics of these heroes and heroines, they will remain unknown to the authorities that be. Therefore, the authorities could not ordinarily be expected to bestow the necessary honours on them, such as naming and renaming streets after them. Muundjua, who passed away on June 22 in Windhoek, was buried in the Old Location cemetery last Saturday. This is per the late Muundjua’s wish himself and befittingly so because this is where Muundjua in the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Interment… The casket of liberation struggle veteran, John Garvey Tjikanguka Muundjua, being lowered into the grave at the Old Location cemetery in Windhoek’s Hochland Park where he was on Saturday committed to eternal living memory to join fellow stalwarts like Jariretundu Kozonguizi and Kovipa Kazapua. was part of the leaders of the time in their resistance of the South African occupation of the then territory of South West Africa. Notably Muundjua had then come to distinguish himself as leader of the Africans against their forced removal from the Old Location, present day Hochland Park, to today’s Katutura. This earned him the wrath of the South African police and in 1962 he was imprisoned for leading a protest march of Africans against their forced relocation to Katutura from the Old Location. In 1968 with the eventual forceful removal of Africans from the Old Location to Katutura, he instead opted for voluntary internal banishment to the Aminuis communal area, partly also to escape constant police harassment. On the advice of Herman Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, who was in Cape Town in South Africa in 1958, and Jariretundu Kozonguizi, who was studying at the University of Fort Hare, he went on to become a co-founding member of the South West Africa National Union (Swanu) on September 27, 1959. That was the same year he started to petition the United Nations. In 1962, as vicechairman and secretary for foreign affairs of Swanu, he was the first Namibian to meet the chairperson of the UN Committee on South West Africa, Victorio D. Carpion, from the Phillipines, when they visited the then South West Africa. This was after years of petitioning by petitioners such as Chief Hosea Kutako, Kozonguizi, Kerina Mburumba, Sam Nujoma for the committee to visit the territory and verify what the petitioners all along had been telling it about the South African regime’s treatment of the indigenous people. In 1974 together with Clement Kapuuo, Gerson Veii, Johannes Karuaihe, they went to New York in the United States of America (USA) where for two months they petitioned the UN. Muundjua was also, together with the likes of Dr Zed Ngavirue and David Meroro, a founding member of the first ever black owned, controlled and edited newspaper, Suidwes Nuus, published by a black publishing company, the African Publishing Company. The publication was then edited by Emil Appolus. “In 1961, we at Augustineum, were on strike against Bantu Education and the poor quality of food. We were subsequently expelled and sent back to our respective homes. After a while, a deadline for readmission was set, and our parents forced us to go back. Those of us from Otjiwarongo had to go to Okakarara to pick up others, among whom were the likes of Honourable Kaura and Comrade Festus Muundjua. It was at this time that I personally met Mitiri John Garvey Muundjua. He gave us a political talk and supported our actions but advised us to go back and finish our education,” reads part of President Hage Geingob’s message to the bereaved family. Late Muundjua was a veteran at the time of his death and in the Old Location he is reunited notably with victims of the 1959 Old Location massacre, as well as leading Swanu stalwarts like Kozonguizi and Kovipa Kazapua. dreammore With low admin fees and tax-free interest for individuals, at NamPost Savings Bank, you’ll always save more. With our Fixed Term Deposit periods ranging from 3 - 12 months, you have more choices to let your money grow. The best part is, you can make top-ups whenever. 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New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167