Naholo Faces the Rod?

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Although the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) has not formerly charged its suspended Acting Secretary General Peter Naholo, New Era has learned reliably that he would be disciplined primarily for misconduct. The misconduct charges stem from incidents relating to the 2004 May Day celebrations, a car accident he did not report and his comments last year on the April 1, 1999 issue. A source at the NUNW told New Era that Naholo in 2004 decided to take the May Day celebrations to the northern railway project, whereas the Central Committee had earlier resolved that the official celebrations would be held at Omitara. It is believed that the entire unauthorized expenditure for the May Day rally cost the NUNW more than N$20 000 and the umbrella body plans to hold Naholo solely responsible for the amount. NUNW insiders say Naholo, who is believed to have been a stern supporter of former Minister of Trade and Industry Hidipo Hamutenya ahead of the Swapo Extra Ordinary Congress, took the May Day rally to the north to provide Hamutenya with a platform. This it is said was done to give Hamutenya an edge over the other two Swapo party national presidential candidates, namely current Head of State Hifikepunye Pohamba and Nahas Angula, a few weeks ahead of the congress. This, it is alleged, was not done with the blessing of the NUNW Central Committee. In addition, New Era has learned that the NUNW is also planning to question him about a car accident he failed to report to the NUNW executive. It is alleged that Naholo was involved in an accident with the union’s car, a metallic gold Volkswagen Passat and failed to report the matter. Despite failing to report the accident, Naholo claimed more than N$40 000 for the repair of the car from NUNW insurance and borrowed an extra N$3 500 from the union to pay excess insurance charges. The federation further plans to lay a charge against the suspended acting secretary general after he refused to return all the property of NUNW after his fallout in December. Naholo is said to be in possession of a cordless phone and a television set at his residence and despite the office requesting him to return the items, he has so far ignored the directives. The most serious charge is expected to be the comments he made last year that the industrial affiliates had abused the name of the NUNW when they defended Swapo President Sam Nujoma regarding the events of April 1, 1989. The NUNW argues that the affiliates never used the name of NUNW and Naholo brought the name of NUNW into disrepute when he claimed that the federation’s name had been abused. NUNW is believed to be formulating formal charges against Naholo with the assistance of its lawyers. The battle between Naholo and the NUNW has overshadowed the much-anticipated NUNW Congress and the differences now appear irreconcilable. The NUNW dismissed Naholo last year December following his comments about the events of April 1. Naholo approached the High Court to fight his dismissal earlier this year and Acting Judge Reinhard TÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¶temeyer ruled in his favour and requested the NUNW to reinstate him effective December last year. NUNW reinstated Naholo as per court order but immediately suspended him pending investigations and subsequent disciplinary hearing. The suspended acting secretary general is still awaiting the charges against him but he is running out of time as he might not be able to attend the congress, before the disciplinary proceeding is concluded, in the next two weeks.