NUNW calls for Jooste’s head

The union has called on President Hage Geingob to respond to Air Namibia’s liquidation as a matter of urgency.

18 February 2021 | Local News

Angula Angula; Affiliate president; “Leon Jooste made himself untrustworthy and therefore unfit to hold public office.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

The Erongo branch of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) called on President Hage Geingob to relieve Leon Jooste of his duties as public enterprises minister in a petition handed over to the Erongo regional governor’s office on Wednesday.

Speaking at the occasion, which saw around 20 participating protesters, NUNW affiliate president Angula Angula said that Jooste behaved in a dishonest manner by underrepresenting and deliberately misdirecting Cabinet to take the decision to liquidate Air Namibia. “This decision is tantamount to a violation of the Namibian constitution on state policy.”

Speaking on behalf of NUNW secretary general Job Muniaro, Angula said that “Jooste made himself untrustworthy and therefore unfit to hold public office. He has betrayed the mandate bestowed upon him to oversee profitability of state-owned commercial enterprises, which he is now busy getting rid of instead.”

The union also called on the head of state to remove Jooste from other responsibilities in public office and for Swapo to withdraw him from the list of Swapo party members in parliament.

Angula added that although the union acknowledges that Air Namibia – like any other airline – has been experiencing financial challenges and that the parastatal has been heavily subsidised by government, the latter needs to seek alternatives ahead of liquidation.

“We are shocked and disturbed by the degree of deception of the people of Namibia, who are being disregarded and enslaved into economic dependence through alienation of their national assets. NUNW is particularly perplexed by the conduct of Cabinet members who chose to disregard the will of the electorate by approving the liquidation of Air Namibia.

Furthermore, Angula stated that the liquidation of the airline, if allowed to proceed, will create a precedent for the privatisation of public enterprises under the same pretext to the extent that mass unemployment will overwhelm the country, and “subsequently, anarchy and public disorder shall follow”.

The union suggested that government uses alternatives other than liquidation to serve as a turnaround strategy for the airline.

Moreover, President Geingob was requested to respond to their demands with urgency, imploring government to revoke the Cabinet resolution to liquidate with immediate effect and in so doing save the national airline and jobs.

“We record forcefully that these demands remain non-negotiable and failure to act accordingly, will result in the NUNW canvassing for mass national action to regain national sovereignty,” he said.

The petition was received on behalf of the central government by Erongo regional governor, Neville Andre, who said he would forward the petition to the office of the president.