Windhoek-The country’s largest trade union federation, the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), an affiliate of the ruling party Swapo, has bemoaned what it termed an exclusion of its members from key party meetings.
This, its secretary-general Job Muniaro said, could destroy the affiliation if not nipped in the bud.
In a recent letter to Swapo secretary-general Nangolo Mbumba, seen by New Era, Muniaro said NUNW has on several occasions expressed discontent about this exclusion, but such cries consistently fell on deaf ears.
Muniaro said he had previously addressed these concerns with Mbumba.
“Please, advise comrade as to what extent we should [go] to keep our affiliation with our party if there are new developments in the regards that we do not know,” says Muniaro in the letter.
Muniaro says some Swapo coordinators of the regional and district leadership are intimidating NUNW members by calling them names and excluding them from participating in party conferences.
“It has come to my attention that some trade union members assigned to represent the NUNW on different Swapo Party structures are being humiliated by some individuals of the Swapo Party leadership,” Muniaro said.
He noted it has become worrisome to the federation that the party leadership is harassing the NUNW members assigned to represent the federation on the party structures, thus putting the federation in a difficult position as to whether or not the NUNW should honour its accord and affiliation to Swapo.
He said the federation has only four regions on the NUNW structures whereby their members assigned to the structures should attend some structural meetings.
“We are fully aware that some of our members are not Swapo Party members, therefore we vet members before they are assigned to represent the NUNW on party structures,” Muniaro stated in the letter dated June 29, 2017.
Contacted for comment yesterday, Swapo Party secretary for information and mobilisation, Helmut Angula, said he has not seen the letter but that it is news for him to hear there has been no NUNW representation in Swapo meetings.
“I had sixteen workshops last year across the country and NUNW as a stakeholder were invited and they participated in the meetings, so I don’t know what they are talking about,” he said.
The NUNW was established in Dar Salaam, Tanzania, by Solomon Mwifila in 1970. In 1978, the Swapo central executive committee decided to affiliate the NUNW to the World Federation of Trade Unions (WTFU). The WTFU provided a link between the NUNW and socialist countries.