Naholo in the Cold

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek The chances for suspended Acting Secretary General of the National Union of Namibian Workers, Peter Naholo to assume the secretary general position at the upcoming 4th NUNW congress suffered a major setback when the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) decided to nominate him for the deputy secretary general position instead. The MUN decided to nominate the current acting Secretary General Evilastus Kaaronda for the position of secretary general, while nominating Connie Pandeni for the federation’s presidency. New Era has learned that the nomination for the secretary general position was a hot issue. MUN members could not reach a consensus and the matter had to be settled through the ballot. MUN was believed to have been the stronghold of Naholo as the suspended union leader came from the industrial union to head the federation. MUN also did not show a lot of confidence in the current NUNW President Risto Kapenda and only nominated him for the first vice president position. The Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu) remains the only affiliate that has so far not forwarded nominations to the office of the secretary general after the other seven affiliates did so almost three weeks ago. Although Nantu still has until Friday to submit their nominations, it is believed that they are planning to make their nominations from the floor. Meanwhile, the NUNW yesterday formerly served Naholo with 13 charges. Naholo was mainly charged with misconduct emanating from a string of incidents that date back to May 2004. Apart from the 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, he was also charged with appointing a person illegally. Naholo is accused of unlawfully and without following proper procedures appointing Sakkie Amenya as the editor of the Namibian Workers newspaper for a period of six months. The NUNW claims that the appointment of Amenya caused the union to suffer financial losses in the amount of N$48 000 as payment for his salary, which salary was also not approved by the NUNW. Another charge against Naholo is that of using abusive language, making false statements and derogatory remarks against the NUNW affiliates leaders on December 13, 2005 when he wrote a letter in which he stated that NUNW affiliates abused the name of the NUNW. The charge sheet reads: “Your improper conduct, by making false statements and abusive language, the statements were also published in the media and caused embarrassment, defamed the characters and tarnished the good names of the NUNW’s affiliates leadership and that of the NUNW.” Another charge is that of “gross discourteousness and lack of respect” in that he organised and held a press conference and made derogatory remarks against leaders of the NUNW affiliates without consulting the leadership of the NUNW Central Committee. Naholo has been given until Thursday to respond to the charges. However, the outcome of the planned disciplinary hearing appears to be of no significance as his term as acting secretary general as per the constitution of the NUNW effectively ends on Friday when the congress takes place.