Nameless Letter New Twist to NUNW Saga

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By Da’oud Vries Windhoek A mysterious statement written on the letterhead of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) has become the latest twist in the ongoing “Naholo and Muheua saga”. The statement, which dubbed the Central Executive Committee meeting that sanctioned the expulsion of Peter Naholo as Acting Secretary General of NUNW, as “unprocedurally convened” was faxed to the New Era from an unknown destination. Contacted to confirm the authenticity of the statement, both NUNW president Risto Kapenda and the Acting Secretary General Evaristus Kaaronda denied any knowledge of the statement. Kaaronda, laughing off the statement, said it does not come from his office and that such faceless statements just add to the confusion currently reigning. After this reporter read the statement to him, Kapenda said he certainly did not have anything to do with it. The statement, certified as a “true copy for and by the leadership of NUNW”, called the CEC meeting “clandestine” and said Naholo remains in his position and that his fate would be decided by the Executive Committee of the federation. Charging that the First Vice President of NUNW, Alpheus Muheua has no liberation credentials, the faceless authors accused him of being a “tool and a franchiser of division and politics of hate that borders on violence”. The authors declared that Muheua would not be speaking on behalf of workers forthwith and that he is suspended pending charges against him. Contacted for comment, Muheua was surprised by the letter, saying that he was not aware of any NUNW leadership meeting that was convened that sanctioned the contents of the statement. The latest statement is reminiscent of the endless nameless letters and e-mails that surfaced in the run-up to the Swapo Extra Ordinary Congress last year, where the different camps in Swapo were labelling each other in the hope of influencing votes at the congress. The NUNW congress is scheduled for March next year and leadership battles are bound to ensue in its run-up to ensure that the federation’s delegation to the 2007 Swapo Congress is in the favour of one or the other camp. The union federation, as an affiliate to Swapo, has 10 votes at the mother body’s congress. As the battle lines are drawn between the factions in the NUNW, the March congress, it is believed would be characterised by fierce leadership fights.