'Covid-19 used for hidden agendas'

According to Tucna, nearly all parastatals have been engineered to be total failures, and will be sold out soon.

06 August 2020 | Labour

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



The Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) yesterday accused government of purposefully using the Covid-19 pandemic to clandestinely and deliberately destroy parastatals, so that private companies can get a further foothold in the economy.

At a media conference, union secretary-general Mahongora Kavihuha addressed matters “of alarming concern, not only to Namibia, but in the region and beyond”.

These include the increasing human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, the recurrent and increasing abuse and denial of the right to free speech in Namibia and the clandestine and the deliberate destruction of parastatals, in the interest of private companies.

“All these schemes are being crafted in the mist of the coronavirus pandemic, and this leaves one to wonder it the pandemic itself was purposefully crafted to push some hidden agendas,” he said.



Parastatal agenda

Kavihuha said the ultimate aim of creating parastatals in Namibia was to have private companies, owned by capitalists, buy these state entities.

He said the agenda was to turn parastatals into private companies through first blighting them thoroughly.

According to Kavihuha, this is why nearly all parastatals are total failures and will be sold out soon.

“Finally, after 30 years of planning, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, assisted by local capitalists, have now succeeded and our exploitation is complete; it is now a done deal.”



Abuse in Zimbabwe

He further said grave abuses of human rights have been unfolding in Zimbabwe lately.

“Trade union leaders legitimately protesting the dangerous conditions under which their members are made to work, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, are all of a sudden being labelled terrorists and are physically harassed and imprisoned in an effort to silence them.”

The union condemned the brutal and barbaric actions by the Zimbabwean government against leaders of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU).

Tucna also condemned the Namibian government for refusing to allow local Zimbabweans to demonstrate peacefully at their embassy in Windhoek against these brutalities.

The union called on the Zimbabwean government to publicly disassociate itself from Zanu-PF's claim that the ZCTU is a terrorist organisation and confirm the union to be a legitimate social partner that it has been engaging with during tripartite negotiation forum meetings.



'Stop hunting unionists'

Tucna also called on the Zimbabwean government to stop hunting down trade unionists who are doing their work of raising issues workers face. Kavihuha said the Zimbabwean government must stop the persecution of all democracy activists and release all those who have been arrested for exercising their right to free expression.

“In Namibia, we have witnessed how a promising young and upcoming journalist was subjected to a… verbal onslaught by President Hage Geingob and seemingly by his employer for posing a simple question on issues that are by all accounts a public interest matter.”

Kavihuha added there have been similar occurrences where the media and journalists have been threatened with exclusion from covering certain events and this is occurring more frequently.

“This trend, if not condemned and clipped in the bud early enough, will fester and rot. Before long, we will be in the same place Zimbabwe is today.”

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