TUN threatens 'drastic actions'

06 December 2018 | Labour

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The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) says a recent announcement by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, that there would be no salary increases for public servants until they improved their performance, was a slap in the face.

The prime minister said recently that the government paid public servants well despite their poor performance and the economic downturn the country is experiencing.

At a media briefing yesterday, TUN president Mahongora Kavihuha hit back.

“It is nothing more than an old and tired capitalist narrative backed by the World Bank and other imperialist intuitions aimed at trying to fool and confuse us after they have feathered their nests with ill-gotten money through shady deals with the Russians and Chinese,” he said.

He added that there would be “drastic actions” if the finance ministry failed to budget for salary increases for public servants in the 2019/20 financial year.

Kavihuha further criticised the prime minister for being insensitive towards hardworking public servants who are struggling financially.

“The statement is provocative in the sense that notwithstanding all those gallant efforts by civil servants, at least to save the face of an otherwise solidly ineffective, corrupt and accountable cabinet and political leadership, the reward they get comes in the form of a thankless statement by the prime minister,” he said.

According to him the majority of public servants work under deplorable conditions, but continue to do so gallantly, while remaining loyal to the government.

“Nurses are working in life-threatening, unhygienic circumstances and in some instances public servants have to dig into their own resources to ensure the government's work is carried out,” he said.

According to Kavihuha, Namibians are already brought low by high taxes and inequality.

“It has been said that every employed Namibian caters for and assists about eight other vulnerable and unemployed, deprived and generally suffering Namibians.

“Therefore, roughly speaking, the salaries of 120 000 public servants assist 960 000 other Namibians who should have been the responsibility of the Namibian government,” he said.

JEMIMA BEUKES