NWRWU, Nabwu to Host Congress

Windhoek — The Namibia Wholesale and Retail Workers Union (NWRWU) and the Namibia Building Workers Union (Nabwu) will soon be hosting their 6th ordinary national congress, said Victor Hamunyela. Hamunyela is the secretary general of both the NWRWU and Nabwu.

The congress is expected to attract delegates from as far afield as South Africa, Malawi, the United Kingdom and Ghana and is scheduled to take place from March 14 -16 in Oshakati. This year’s theme will be “Workers demand genuine empowerment through recognition of prior learning and through tripartite social dialogue forums in wholesale and retail, manufacture and construction industries now.”

Hamunyela said the congress would address issues such as amending the union constitution, extending the constitution to cover the mines and energy industries, a union group scheme with Metropolitan Namibia and electing national leaders.

Hamunyela also used the opportunity to condemn the Windhoek Municipality’s demolition of shacks in informal settlements.

“It is a constitutional obligation for the state to provide basic needs to the citizens of the country, such as shelter and water, hence our demand for the recognition that municipal areas are state land and that those whose houses are unlawfully destroyed are citizens of this state, thus the state must intervene as a matter of urgency.”

Asked the unionist: “What is better – to create conflicting situations between residents, damage properties and invite unrest, or to avail land to people as a basic alternative?” Hamunyela said workers have the ultimate goal to benefit from the land they have fought for “and for which their blood waters Namibia’s freedom”.

“Therefore that ultimate goal of having genuine access to land remains,” he stressed.

“We demand that the atrocity of destroying people’s houses be halted or the municipality to face illegal occupation of City of Windhoek offices by the workers as their places of residence were destroyed,” he said.

“How can we claim peace and harmony, political freedom, one Namibia, one nation and equity when the majority of the population has literally no shelter as well as no peace of mind?” he inquired.

Hamunyela further demanded clear-cut policies directing and guiding the attainment of the goals and objectives of the mass housing project and that the project not be used by those “few previously disadvantaged and currently more advantaged to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor”.