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Anuwa?

By M'kwanailya wa Mweuta
May Day came and went! Before the big day I paged through newspapers looking for May Day rally adverts in the Capital City. There was none. I learned that the main rally was in Keetmanshoop.

But I expected the President's message to be read also in Windhoek as it happened with other events. Being a worker I decided that it will be cool to join my comrades and at least attend a rally. I drove around in search a May Day rally but in vain.

I however remembered that the previous weeks were flooded with newspaper articles about trade unionists leaders. Some are said to have refused to take severance packages and some being kicked out of leadership.

Should the workers take it that the squabbles among unionists on who sold and bought which shares in this and that company could be the reason for poor workers mobilisation? Or has workers' issue became so irrelevant that the "everyone for herself and god for all of us" attitude should apply? Anuwa the labour union has been infiltrated by people with self serving agenda! Now that was said by the acting President of the NUNW herself.

I am however surprised to note that this is being mentioned only yesterday. Immediately after independence, the trend in the labour union has been make noise, threaten that the workers will strike- get noticed by the high office - get appointed to a political office and shut up! Or target a profit making company- use the workers to demonstrate- get shares, (pretend the shares belong to the workers) shut up and ignore workers plights.

The importance of workers to any economy is well documented. What happened to the unionists who cared about the welfare of their nations, their economy and the well being of their workers? Is it true that they all became investors? Now really, why do we have to pay NAPWU, NANTU , MUN monthly fees while our plights are being ignored?

The fact that the President yesterday "called for a tripartite meeting to look into the plight of workers" could that not be equated to vote of no confidence in the trade unions? This is their job for 'workers' sake! Namibian workers have a lot to celebrate as much as to be educated when it comes to workers issues.

The country is progressing well in infrastructure building yet some able bodied Namibians are jobless because Ling, Yang and Lee who happened just to be labourers are constructing that bridge, building the other road and manually making bricks and load them in trucks. This situation is continuing unabated thanks to the "passiveness of our trade unionists".

Meanwhile, during my driving in search of May Day rally, I observed that most taverns were closed. On inquiry I was informed that it was done on the instructions of the law enforcement agents.

I am still to be convinced what the reason behind banning the selling of alcohol under Act 26 of 1998 (Liquor Act) on Public Holidays. Liquor is freely available and is legally sold on working days when citizens are supposed to be productive. Yet come a public holiday such as May Day when workers suppose to rest and at least socialise while reflecting on their contribution on glass of wine, then one is told that is illegal to sell liquor.

One may ask why the law is being implemented selectively? The same Act 26 of 1998 prohibit the selling of alcohol to a person who appear to be intoxicated. One wonder how many liquor outlets sell to sober clients!

By the way, do you know that it is also an offence in Namibia to sell liquor on credit? And is 'juicy' because article 70 of the same Act stipulate that any liquor credit bill shall be void and unenforceable. So next time you consume alcohol on credit and someone is asking you to pay, you may call the police to enforce the law or tell who ever is claiming his debt, to go read Act 26 of 1998!





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