Windhoek – Instead of shying away from partnerships that could bring lasting prosperity to footballers and being so hell-bent on clinging onto power, secretary-general of the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) Mahongora Kavihuha has advised the Namibia Football Association (NFA) and Namibia Premier League (NPL) leadership to focus on issues that will address the crisis in local football.
Speaking at the Namibia Football Players Union (NAFPU) first press briefing for the year, Kavihuha – who joined NAFPU president Lolo Goraseb and NAFPU secretary-general Olsen Kahiriri – issued a stern warning to the leadership of the NFA and NPL.
In a firm but lucid speech, the well-respected veteran trade unionist expressed his disappointment in the NFA and NPL’s continued efforts to try and disregard NAFPU’s mission and mandate, which is to serve the interests of footballers countrywide.
NAFPU is affiliated Tucna.
“For some time now, I’ve been following the developments between the NFA, NPL and our member, NAFPU, and I have to honestly say the leadership of NFA and NPL lacks the basic understanding of how labour laws work.
“They have no clue about the Labour Act of Namibia and what it says about employee-employer relations, and if they really don’t understand the Act, then I guess we – Tucna, as the mother body of NAFPU – will have to lecture both the NFA and NPL about labour laws,” Kavihuha remarked.
“The Labour Act is clear about all aspects pertaining to workers’ contracts and what should happen if their contracts are not honoured by their employers.
“So, that’s why I’m saying the leadership of NFA and NPL should acquaint themselves with the labour laws of this country… As Tucna, we’re not here to play games, but to serve the interest of workers and that includes our footballers affiliated to NAFPU. If the NFA and NPL want to play the hard ball, they are welcome, because we can also engage them at that level. But for now I’m calling on both organisations’ leaders to put their personal interests and power hunger aside and start serving the interest of players and football in general.
“We’re fully behind NAFPU and we’re ready to grant them any assistance they might need in this struggle against the NFA and NPL”
Kavihuha, in unison with Goraseb and Kahiriri, appealed to President Hage Geingob to reconsider his stance on the problems confronting Namibian football.
The trio said Geingob, as the patron of football in the country, must intervene – but not interfere – to save football and the future of the affected players. “Sport should be regarded as an integral part of the socio-economic growth of a country. Hence, government and the business community must come together and save Namibian football,”
President Geingob was quoted during the Harambee Prosperity Plan Mid-Term Performance Review at State House last year as saying government would not involve itself in footballing matters, as Fifa does not allow politicians to meddle in the running of the sport.
Kavihuha said they had hoped Geingob would propose solutions to the difficulties facing Namibian footballers.