Uniform Imports Dismay NUNW

The acting Secretary General of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), Job Muniaro, has expressed shock and dismay over the fact that 24 years after independence government still imports uniforms for nurses.

“It is shocking that after 24 years of independence we are still importing uniforms that can be designed here from China,” he said. Muniaro underlined the fact that most local fabric manufacturing companies have had to close their doors due to the lack of government tenders and this has also caused job losses. “Just last month I was reading in the newspapers that a manufacturing company in Aradis was closing its doors,” said the unionist. “How do you empower your people if you are importing uniforms that local companies can tailor? Whose workforce are we empowering here?” he asked.

Muniaro further said that as a trade union leader, who has a commitment towards the government to protect and sustain the Namibian workforce, he is embarrassed by the move to import uniforms from China. “As a federation leader it is also shocking to hear that manufacturing companies are closing down due to the lack of tenders and yet the government opts for foreign companies,” he added. According to Muniaro there are many local companies that employ Namibians and that can tailor uniforms, which the government requires to sustain and to prevent job losses. He said if such companies do not receive government tenders, they have no other option but to close their doors and this means job losses, which in turn swells the ranks of the jobless. “How do you grow your economy if you are sustaining other people’s economies,” he asked, adding that government cannot employ each and every Namibian and that it is therefore its duty to protect entrepreneurs who employ Namibians.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, Ministry of Health and Social Services Permanent Secretary Andrew Ndishisi said research carried out by the ministry indicate that there are no factories in Namibia that manufacture fabrics. “Even after the ministry places its tenders locally, Namibia companies will have to source their materials elsewhere,” Ndishishi said in defence of the decision to import from China. Moreover, according to him it is also important that health workers’ uniforms be produced with specialized fabrics to prevent contamination and disease infection (theatre, paediatric etc), therefore the reason to import is also to ensure acceptable prevention measures are in place when obtaining such fabrics.

Source : New Era