By William J. Mbangula OSHAKATI The Namibia Public Workers Union’s (NAPWU’s) immediate future strategic political test as an affiliate union of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) is to build and consolidate the working class power in society. This was said by NAPWU Deputy General Secretary Gabes Handuba when he addressed his union members at Okalongo Secondary School in the Omusati Region recently. “We believe in the fact that as a transformative union, we must master the two tasks of building a strong union to properly service the needs of our members on the one hand and to play an active role in the transformation of our country’s socio-economy on the other.” Handuba urged the workers to ensure that they contribute to the ongoing challenges of mass mobilization, building and consolidate the union’s alliances and ensure the transformation of the public sector in concrete terms. In order to meet the challenges facing the union, said Handuba, such challenges must first be identified, concrete proposals must be made on how to respond to them and clear timelines must be put in place for the implementation of the intervention programmes. He cautioned: “We should avoid taking too many decisions that we may not be capable of implementing. However, the challenges of service delivery to our members, building a strong organisation and sustaining it to remain strong must be the core of our organisational programme.” The NAPWU leader expressed dissatisfaction with the general situation on the transformation of the national economy’s inability to serve the increasing number of the population as well as the slow pace of the land redistribution process. Lauding the ongoing review of the public entities as a positive development, he added: “The government has successfully expanded and redirected the spending towards historically deprived and poor communities and has drastically redesigned and transformed labour policies and legislation. I wish to point out that it is NAPWU’s standpoint that progress has really been made on the delivery and extension of social services to the people.” The meeting at Okalongo was called to reflect on the progress made in the last four years and to chart the way forward for NAPWU which is due to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. At the meeting, concerns were expressed about the non-implementation of the promised salary increments of public servants and overtime payments. This is said to be mainly prevalent in the Ministry of Education.
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