18 June 2007

Namibia: Union Condemns 'Jobs for Comrades'

THE slogan "jobs for comrades", which has even been echoed by some trade unionists, is to blame for the mess some parastatals find themselves in, the Public Service Union of Namibia (PSUN) claims.

The union's President, Awebahe Hoeseb, said liberation struggle credentials, and not corporate gumption and acumen, were the most crucial criteria considered in the appointment of many heads of parastatals.

"This ushered in a new era of nepotism and favouritism, because some Chief Executive Officers managed to get their friends and acquaintances appointed, without them necessarily having the qualities and skills to perform well.

It is only now that some unionists are lamenting the practice after the ideal of effectiveness and efficiency service delivery went up in smoke.

Parastatals became the taxpayer's financial burden," //Hoeseb said.

"At one of the parastatals, the then incumbent was removed in a manner which was unfair, both procedurally and substantively.

Public funds were used to remunerate him for several years whilst he was earning a lucrative salary and perks in the private sector," he said.

At another parastatal an appropriately trained and competent person's appointment was cancelled, at cost, because he did not have the right skin pigmentation.

"The person who was appointed instead had the right liberation struggle credentials but possessed neither the qualifications nor the corporate experience to run that parastatal well," //Hoeseb said.

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