Kaaronda champions new political direction

17 June 2019 | Local News

Outspoken unionist Evilastus Kaaronda has finally spoken about his presidential ambitions ahead of the November general election, saying it was time for a new political climate and direction in the country.

According to Kaaronda, the current leadership is only concerned about lining their pockets, rather than serving the people. “We have had decades of entrenched and institutionalised corruption, which in my view has been the cause of what we have today as the economic crisis that has to some extent forced government to want to have people contribute 2% of their basic salaries,” he said.

Addressing a handful of journalists at the Katutura Youth Complex yesterday afternoon, Kaaronda who now leads the non-aligned Namibia National Labour Organisation (Nanlo), said the Swapo-led government has failed to tackle critical social issues such as unemployment and the land question. According to Kaaronda, Namibian business owners have become bystanders of economic activity and have as a result closed shop because Chinese-owned and South African companies are dominating the mainstream economy. “Just in the last 12 or more months, and if statistics given by the Employment Equity Commission are anything to go by, we have lost about 37 000 jobs just in the last 12 or so months. And the companies that have shut down are companies that ordinarily would be Namibian companies - be it in construction or retail sector,” he said. Kaaronda added the current regime had no resolve tackle the challenges of the day because it has helped create them.

“To that end it is only fair that a new political direction be found that is driven by the working people of our country and the young unemployed people of our country. A political process that will genuinely speak to the true concerns of our people,” he said. Kaaronda also said his party would definitely be ready to contest the presidential and National Assembly elections, which are slated for 27 November this year.

According to the Electoral Act of 2014, a party should have at least 500 members in each region.

“The little that we have and been able to do tells us that we are fine and we will make it. If there are objections, we will deal with them. The legal process is straightforward and I don't think there will be any objections,” he said. Kaaronda, who has been a vocal critic of unions aligned to political parties since his dismissal from Swapo, said he was “worked out” of the system by the ruling party elite and unionists whom he claimed had benefitted from the N$660 million Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) saga. Kaaronda established Nanlo after being booted out of the Swapo-affiliated National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), when he demanded that those involved in the GIPF scandal should be named and shamed. Later the NUNW accused Kaaronda of “gross non-compliance with regard to his duties and responsibilities”, as well as “disunity, division and mistrust”. The umbrella body also claimed that Kaaronda caused division among union leaders and connived with rival unionists. Following his dismissal, Kaaronda dragged the federation to court. The union was ordered to pay N$31 000 for each of the 24 months left on its former secretary-general's contract.

FESTUS NAKATANA

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