SWAKOPMUND: The Namibia Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Nafau) congress set to take place from Thursday to Saturday in Eenhana, Ohangwena Region will be illegal according to some Nafau members here.
The Nafau congress is due to reflect on the activities of the union and its National Executive Committee (NEC) members over the past four years since the last congress in 2008. Various Nafau branches and members will gather to hold discussions, and elect new NEC members. However, branch chairperson of Nafau in Swakopmund, Johannes Joseph expressed his disappointed with the preparations for the congress.
Joseph told Nampa on Tuesday that arrangements for the congress were solely done by Secretary-General Kiros Sacharias without the involvement of Nafau president Abel Kazondunge. He further claimed that Sacharias only has grassroots consultations with the branches and districts said to be favouring and supporting him.
Joseph claimed that Sacharias called the congress with the assistance of Peter Nuugulu, a labour movement activist, despite Nuugulu having no representation in the union’s structure. “We are, therefore, asking the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) to intervene, because Nafau is an affiliated member,” Joseph pleaded.
He further claimed that the number of delegates from the Walvis Bay branch set to attend the congress differs substantially from the number of delegates from Swakopmund. Joseph said a total of 55 delegates from Walvis Bay were selected to attend the congress, compared to 12 delegates from Swakopmund.
This, he claimed, is a ‘well-orchestrated plot’ to accumulate enough numbers for Sacharias to emerge victorious at the planned congress, should he stand for re-election, adding that he has reason to believe that the Nafau members of Walvis Bay are supporting Sacharias.
Approached for comment, Nafau national treasurer Florence Rukata told Nampa on Tuesday that Sacharias is hosting the congress in his own capacity, adding that no funds were allocated to the congress as a result of Sacharias’s breaching of the Constitution. “He invited all the people supporting him, and all those opposing him including the president (Kazondunge), were not invited,” Rukata said.
On his part, Sacharias said that he was not aware that the members of Nafau in Swakopmund were unhappy. He made it clear that Nuugulu does not form part of Nafau, and said his services will only be used for security measures during the congress.
With regards to the unequal numbers of delegates invited from Walvis Bay and Swkopmund, Sacharias explained that only 80 members could be accommodated in the Erongo Region. “Who will be attending the congress is not my responsibility as the regions were allowed to indicate which members will be attending the congress,” he said.
In addition, Sacharias sternly stated that it is not his obligation to invite Kazondunge, saying he (Kazondunge) should have been the one leading and planning the congress. NUNW Secretary-General, Evilastus Kaaronda told Nampa on enquiry that he does not know anything about the congress, apart from what he read in the newspapers.
According to a report in English daily The Namibian on Tuesday this week, the congress risks being aborted because of a standoff between the union’s president and its secretary-general. It said that Sacharias refused to vacate his office and sent out a notice on Monday that the congress will be held this week, despite being suspended by Kazondunge last month.