Namibia: Swapo Calls for Removal of Nida Board

22 September 2020

THE Swapo party has called for the dismissal of the entire board of the Namibia Industrial Development (Nida), along with its acting chief executive officer Uparura Kuvare, over alleged maladministration.

"The board and Kuvare do not have an interest in the well-being of the Namibian nation, so their heads must roll," said Swapo's regional coordinator for //Kharas, Mathew Mumbala, at a media conference held on Thursday at Keetmanshoop.

Mumbala said he called the press conference to condemn what he called "rumours" that have been circulating on social media regarding employment issues at the Naute Dam irrigation project in //Kharas region, which is administered by Nida.

He said some political parties, without mentioning names, were now politicising the issue.

The said social media comments suggest that people from the south were overlooked in the hiring of seasonal workers, with people from the north hired at their expense.

Mumbala said he was accompanied by //Kharas Swapo youth wing regional secretary Samuel Jacobs on Thursday when he visited the project on a fact-finding mission and found the irregular appointment claims were nonsense.

According to him, 45% of seasonal workers at the project were locals.

"This is immature politics at play," he said, rubbishing claims of alleged irregular recruitment of seasonal workers at the project.

He indicated there were two lists of people hired as seasonal workers, and blamed this on "poor administration" on the part of the Nida management.

"There is a list from the head office and a list from people who work at Naute... it seems at Nida there is no synergy among staff, each one is doing their own thing," he said.

The politician advised Nida management to immediately hire people from the region, who were standing in front of Nida's office entrance gate at Naute Dam yesterday in search for seasonal jobs as replacement of those who were hired but failed to report for duty.

PICKETING

Former Naute Dam temporary workers from the north were yesterday picketing at Nida's Naute Dam office to express their discontent for allegedly being overlooked in the recruitment process in favour of people from other regions, who are all from one tribe.

They also charged that the project's acting head Simon Akwenye had appointed people he had worked with at Aussenkehr, as seasonal workers on top of those who had been doing seasonal jobs since 2008 at the project.

Akwenye could not be drawn to comment on allegations levelled against him by the former temporary workers.

Landless People's Movement regional commissar for //Kharas regional Ivan Petrus together with the party's election director, Ziggy Isaacks, demanded an answer from Akwenye over the alleged irregular appointments in question at the meeting they had with Akwenye at Naute Dam on Thursday.

"We will not leave until we get answers from you about your irrational and discriminatory hiring of seasonal [workers]," he said angrily.

Akwenye remained tight-lipped, and told the LPM members that their concerns would be forwarded to Nida's executive.

Attempts to get comment from Kuvare, who also doubles as Nida's board member, yesterday proved futile as he did not reply to questions sent via email on the matter in question on Thursday.

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