The newly elected Namibia Farmworkers Union (Nafwu) leadership vowed yesterday to work hard to uplift farm workers’ living conditions.
The one-day Nafwu extraordinary congress was held in Windhoek on Saturday and elected eight office-bearers who will lead the union for the next five years.
The congress was attended by representatives from all the regions.
The new leadership elected Cornelius Ntelamo as president. Ntelamo had been acting in that position since the suspension of Asser Hendriks in 2013. Ntelamo will be deputised by Antonia Kandjella.
Acting secretary general Rocco Nguvauva was voted into the position and will be deputised by Moses Kativa.
Simanho Seke was elected as treasurer and is to be deputised by Katrina Mashungu.
Briefing the media on the outcome of the congress yesterday, Ntelamo said the union will continue to fight for the rights of farmworkers.
“We will continue to fight against unfair dismissal, eviction of farmworkers, farmworkers’ children dropping out of school while young, among others,” he said.
“Farmworkers have the same rights as any other type of employee,” he added.
Ntelamo said the congress called on government to relook the Labour Act No.11 of 2007 as it “contains loopholes”.
The congress also requested government to look at the issue of farmworkers increasingly being evicted from farms.
“We want government to have a look into this problem so that if need be they are considered for resettlement,” said Ntelamo.
Ntelamo used the opportunity to rubbish recent media reports that the union has stuck a deal with its former secretary general Alfred Angula, saying the claims were blatant lies and uncalled for.
“No meeting of the union discussed any settlement with Mr Angula,” he said.
“Nor did we instruct Nam-Mic to sell our shares to Mr Angula, neither did we agree to pay him N$1.8 million,” said Ntelamo.
Furthermore, Ntelamo says the union is currently in consultation with their lawyers to get the case back on the court roll.