Taxi union wants answers from Geingob

NTTU president Werner Januarie has threatened to tear up his party card unless the president provides 'satisfactory answers' at his upcoming town hall meeting in Windhoek.

12 August 2019 | Transport

The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) announced last week that it will hold demonstrations starting on 20 August, while it is adamant that President Hage Geingob must provide satisfactory answers to pressing issues at his upcoming town hall meeting in the capital.

NTTU president Werner Januarie said the union would attend the town hall meeting Geingob will hold in Windhoek on 15 August and invited all taxi drivers to attend.

“Since this is a public gathering and not a private meeting with him (Geingob) my statement still stands: if he is not a coward he must meet me on or before 15 August,” Januarie said.

Should he not get satisfactory answers at the town hall meeting he will tear up both his Swapo cards in order to prove that he does not need to be associated or affiliated “to any idiot” in order to succeed in life.

“These people have already proven their uselessness due to the fact that for about 16 years of my advocacy and activism, they are still nowhere near comprehending the issues,” he said.

Januarie further announced that the legal practitioners Silas Kishi Shakuma & Co had withdrawn from representing the union in its planned court bid against the government.

According to Januarie this seemed suspicious to the union, as Shakuma had said that the union should not attend the town hall meeting and that Januarie should not make any further comments to the media.

The union was also advised by Shakuma not to embark on any further public demonstrations, and to provide the firm with information about its membership and funding.

Januarie claims that the lawyers were unwilling to make a serious commitment to the union such as writing a demand to the government on their behalf, or making a public statement that they would represent them in court.

“I would like to send a strong message to Namibian lawyers, if you are not serious or have no interest in our case, please do not waste my time.”

He said there are individuals who wish to “steal” the union from him because they can see the potential it has.

“Many are afraid of the power as well as the influence the law will give the union that is in any case headed by someone not even under their control and are very afraid of the damage the union will do to their reputation as well as to their egocentric tendencies, but surprise, surprise it is exactly what I intend on doing.”

Januarie further said that the union, as the main sponsor of the Public Transport Bill, was disappointed to hear through the media of the ban on seven-seat buses operating on long-distance routes. He said the union was never consulted on this issue, which is utter nonsense.

ELLANIE SMIT

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