Windhoek-National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) president Ismael Kasuto says he is not aware of his formal suspension as its president by the central executive committee, except from what he has picked up on social media concerning an unsigned letter on a vote of no confidence.
Kasuto explained that he temporarily excused himself to preside over this past Saturday’s special central executive committee (CEC) meeting held at the NUNW office because as union president he insisted the meeting be properly constituted (in terms of the NUNW constitution).
Kasuto said he excused himself not to attend what he termed an “unconstitutional meeting”.
“And that was not a vote of no confidence to totally remove me from office,” Kasuto said, adding that he would issue a press release today in his capacity as NUNW president.
However, Kasuto said he would be happy to vacate office but only if the vote of no confidence comes from a credible and constitutional NUNW structure.
Kastuo made these remarks yesterday when contacted for comment regarding an NUNW letter citing his removal as NUNW president with immediate effect and barring him from conducting any business in any capacity whatsoever on behalf of the union.
An NUNW unsigned letter said Kasuto has a right to appeal against this motion to the next highest structures of the union.
The letter states that Kastuo was removed as union president because of his failure to hold NUNW structural meetings and implement national congress resolutions, as well as his divisive tendencies characterised by tribal preferences and therefore failing to maintain unity amongst industrial unions affiliated to the NUNW.
The letter also states he was removed because of his negligence, which exposed the federation to a lawsuit while the custodians were absent, and failed to provide it with the necessary defence.
“His absence from the court, while in the knowledge that the federation was under attack by the Mineworkers Union of Namibia as one of its affiliate unions resulted in the president failing to ensure that remedial steps were taken to defend it, whereas their absence from the court proceedings have aggravated their failure beyond reasonable comprehension,” states the letter.
In his response Kasuto further said he attended the supposedly NUNW CEC meeting on Saturday at the NUNW complex in Katutura, where the composition of the meeting came under discussion, in particular the payment of affiliation fees which is a prerequisite to attend the NUNW meeting in terms of the union’s constitution.
Kasuto said one of the areas of concern of the workers and the federation is the non-payment of affiliation fees by NUNW affiliates, except the Mineworkers Union of Namibia. He indicated the federation needs funds to equally run its operations like the affiliates.
“There is a great need to get affiliates to pay their affiliation fees and open their books to the federation to justify their payment of 10 percent. That call can only be made by the NUNW CEC and that is what the affected affiliates are refusing to do,” Kasuto said.