Teachers Question Nantu Election

SEVERAL members of the Namibia National Teachers’ Union are unhappy with the outcome of the union’s congress last weekend, claiming they had already withdrawn their membership although they had not yet resigned from the union.

The congress, which was held at Ongwediva, saw the re-election of the union’s top four leaders: president Kavila Simeon, deputy president Joseph Ndinyando, general secretary Basilius Haingura and deputy general secretary Loide Shaanika.

One of the unhappy members, Dankie Katjiuanjo, said he withdrew his membership because members were not given an opportunity to choose their preferred leaders.

“We cannot be led by the same people for more than two decades. I wanted to run for president but I couldn’t because they made sure not to invite me to the congress,” alleged Katjiuanjo.

He further claimed that the whole congress was stage-managed and the process was not transparent.

He forms part of a group that decided to withdraw its membership and apparently has an unspecified plan of action in place.

Katjiuanjo fell out of favour with the Nantu leadership when he organised an illegal teachers’ strike in November 2012, which led to him and others being removed from leadership positions.

One of the members of the union, who attended the congress, said a rule was introduced and passed, which allowed only regional chairpersons to nominate candidates for positions.

“It made it difficult for people to take part in the nomination,” said the source.

Another source said the whole congress was questionable and not democratic.

“The election of the top four was predetermined. We need to inject new blood in the union as people can become complacent. Most of the people were left with questions as they did not really take part in the process.”

The congress also saw the increment of the membership fee from N$60 to N$100, which members feared will reduce the number of members in the union.

“Why could they not increase it by N$10 or N$20 as was done in the past?” asked a Nantu member.

Haingura said they were fairly re-elected.

“We were unopposed, so it is only natural that we get back the positions,” said Haingura.

Also elected at the congress were Thomas Goraseb as treasurer, Steven Siseho as national secretary, Loide Ampoko as deputy national secretary and Paulina Engombe as secretary of culture .

Haingura said there was an indication before the congress that certain people would remain in their positions.

“The members have spoken who should lead them and we just abide. We did not in any way impose ourselves into these positions. People want to be led by independent qualified people,” he said.

Source : The Namibian