By John Ekongo
The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) yesterday reacted strongly to recent statements by the newly established Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) on the Tsumeb-Oshikango railway line extension.
At a media conference yesterday, NUNW secretary general, Evilastus Kaaronda, said his union has been quiet for too long on RDP ‘insults’, which the new party has levelled against Government leaders especially on the railway line extension.
“We have, as a labour movement, for far too long been quiet in the face of the many unprovoked insults showered on our leaders and the Government by the likes of RDP and its political demagogues.”
Kaaronda added: “The very latest of this was when the RDP leaders reduced one of our government capital projects, i.e. the construction and extension of the Tsumeb-Oshilkango railway line, to a waste of public resources and even went as far as declaring this national project as economically untenable.”
He said only after RDP leaders ceased belonging to the ruling party did they start to discredit the project, which according to Kaaronda they once “passionately supported and embraced”.
The unionist pronounced the importance of the railway line as a national asset, which will do well for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) by connecting the economy to that of the region.
“Needless to say the importance of the railway network might not have occurred to Mr Hidipo Hamutenya but economic development is about connecting people.”
Kaaronda said: “There can be no SADC nor can there be globalisation without communication networks (the rail transportation network is one such important communication network) and Mr Hidipo Hamutenya must know better as the former Minister of Information and Broadcasting, that of Trade and Industry and that of Foreign Affairs.” He described the attacks by the RDP as political opportunism, with the highest degree of hypocrisy and only meant to achieve cheap political points.
He concluded with an appeal to residents of Omuthiya, who are registered voters to fully throw their support behind the Swapo Party in the upcoming local authority elections.
“We now call on all the residents of Omuthiya to give all their votes to the Swapo Party, so that we can continue with our development projects for the town. It is after all the Swapo Party Government which brought the town to the present level of development, and it can only be the Swapo Party that can take it further” said Kaaronda.