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Monday 16 September 2019
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Geingob courts more trouble over ‘cleaning day’

…Turns Africa Day into cleaning day

 

President Hage Geingob could face retribution from Pan-Africanists after he chose Africa Day as the ideal day to carry out the national cleaning campaign.

Africans on the continent and the diaspora commemorate Africa Day annually on 25 May. Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963.

Geingob’, who has on many occasions not missed the chance to highlig

President Hage Geingob could face retribution from Pan-Africanists after he chose Africa Day as the ideal day to carry out the national cleaning campaign.

Africans on the continent and the diaspora commemorate Africa Day annually on 25 May. Africa Day (formerly African Freedom Day and African Liberation Day) is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) (now known as the African Union) on May 25, 1963.

Geingob’, who has on many occasions not missed the chance to highlight his fondness for Pan-Africanism, faced public wrath after he declared that Namibians should use Workers Day as a cleaning day.

He announced his U-turn in a letter written to Cabinet secretary George Simataa on Tuesday after bowing to public pressure.

Geingob said he directed regional governors, together with local authorities, to coordinate the process nationwide by mobilizing communities in their respective regions to clean up their towns, suburbs and villages.

He requested Simataa to transmit the directive to senior civil servants, the National Events Committee and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to formulate and disseminate information to the public on arrangements for the day.

“The Labour Movement played a central role in our liberation struggle, with our call for freedom, informed to a large extend by better living conditions for Namibian workers. Furthermore, the support of workers from the global South was instrumental in bringing about change and I do not want to create the impression that I want to detract attention from the singular significance of May Day in our calendar,” Geingob said.

External pressures referred to are at domestic levels the position of notably the trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA) and internationally the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) which allegedly issued a letter to the President urging Namibia to change its plans to clean on May Day.

“Changing the scope of May Day represents an attack against the legitimate activities on trade unions in Namibia and is a blow for the whole trade union movement around the world, and we strongly denounce it,” the ITUC letter read according to a Xinhua report.

TUCNA Secretary General Mahongora Kavihuha from the onset critiqued the decision by arguing that they were not consulted by the President on the cleaning campaign.

Contrastingly during his initial announcement at State House, following a meeting with Union leaders last month, the President said that the decision was made after consultation with union leader and gave the impression that government has been contemplating the May Day cleaning campaign for a while and just needed to consult with the unions before making the official announcement.

“The reason we (government) did not want to announce the date is because we decided a long time ago, but we thought we should first talk to you (union leaders) that the country must roll up its sleeves to clean up” reveals an NBC video recording from State House.

Whilst NUNW Vice-President, Phillipus Munenguni was recorded saying at the time that,” we are going to support the President’s call and we will inform our constituencies for us to make this day (May Day), a day that we are going to clean Namibia. It’s not that we are going to do it only now, but we want to do it more”.

May Day or International Workers day is a global holiday commemorating workers’ rights annually on the first of May. The commemorations are on the historic struggle of workers all over the world against capitalism, exploitation and demand for safe working conditions as well as respect for the dignity of all workers.

Asked why the NUNW initially supported the presidential call for the May Day cleaning campaign, NUNW secretary general Job Muniaro this week said “we have discussed this matter with the President through our Minister of Labour and the clean-up during workers day has been postponed to another day. NUNW will never dilute the day of workers!”

ht his fondness for Pan-Africanism, faced public wrath after he declared that Namibians should use Workers Day as a cleaning day.

He announced his U-turn in a letter written to Cabinet secretary George Simataa on Tuesday after bowing to public pressure.

Geingob said he directed regional governors, together with local authorities, to coordinate the process nationwide by mobilizing communities in their respective regions to clean up their towns, suburbs and villages.

He requested Simataa to transmit the directive to senior civil servants, the National Events Committee and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology to formulate and disseminate information to the public on arrangements for the day.

“The Labour Movement played a central role in our liberation struggle, with our call for freedom, informed to a large extend by better living conditions for Namibian workers. Furthermore, the support of workers from the global South was instrumental in bringing about change and I do not want to create the impression that I want to detract attention from the singular significance of May Day in our calendar,” Geingob said.

External pressures referred to are at domestic levels the position of notably the trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA) and internationally the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) which allegedly issued a letter to the President urging Namibia to change its plans to clean on May Day.

“Changing the scope of May Day represents an attack against the legitimate activities on trade unions in Namibia and is a blow for the whole trade union movement around the world, and we strongly denounce it,” the ITUC letter read according to a Xinhua report.

TUCNA Secretary General Mahongora Kavihuha from the onset critiqued the decision by arguing that they were not consulted by the President on the cleaning campaign.

Contrastingly during his initial announcement at State House, following a meeting with Union leaders last month, the President said that the decision was made after consultation with union leader and gave the impression that government has been contemplating the May Day cleaning campaign for a while and just needed to consult with the unions before making the official announcement.

“The reason we (government) did not want to announce the date is because we decided a long time ago, but we thought we should first talk to you (union leaders) that the country must roll up its sleeves to clean up” reveals an NBC video recording from State House.

Whilst NUNW Vice-President, Phillipus Munenguni was recorded saying at the time that,” we are going to support the President’s call and we will inform our constituencies for us to make this day (May Day), a day that we are going to clean Namibia. It’s not that we are going to do it only now, but we want to do it more”.

May Day or International Workers day is a global holiday commemorating workers’ rights annually on the first of May. The commemorations are on the historic struggle of workers all over the world against capitalism, exploitation and demand for safe working conditions as well as respect for the dignity of all workers.

Asked why the NUNW initially supported the presidential call for the May Day cleaning campaign, NUNW secretary general Job Muniaro this week said “we have discussed this matter with the President through our Minister of Labour and the clean-up during workers day has been postponed to another day. NUNW will never dilute the day of workers!”




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