Thursday 17 June 2021
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Hengari cracks whip on Napwu

Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Managing Director Zelna Hengari wants Napwu to appoint a different negotiator for the ongoing wage negotiations between the two parties, because the current Lead Negotiator Cleophas Katuuo is “violent and irresponsible and not truthful when it comes to representing the staff.”
In a letter seen by The Patriot dated 27 November 2018, addressed to the NAPWU’s General Secretary Peter Nevonga, Hengari requested for the public workers union to appoint a different negotiator.
She said NWR has evidence which demonstrates that Katuuo presented fabricated information when he told the staff ‘lies and half-truths’ by stating that the union and the company agreed for the strike to go on.
When approached for comment, Katuuo told The Patriot that “I have seen the stupid letter.
That letter holds no truth, our office is run based on principles, we do not influence workers but merely present the real picture to them so that they can make informed decisions,” he said.
Katuuo said NWR has room to cut costs by slashing the number of employees, adding that in some cases, workers do the same job.
In turn, Hengari quashed Katuuo’s claims that the company’s Chief Operations Officer (COO) Matthias Ngwangwama and Chief Financial Officer Talitha Horn do the same job in the company.
She also believed that the union representative did not bother to ask about the tasks of these employees in the company.
Hengari further accused Katuuo of repeatedly provoking the negotiation committee by using aggressive language and falsely disseminating information to the workers.
Hengari said that NWR has repeatedly made a request through a senior shop steward for him[Katuuo] to inform the staff correctly on how much the company has offered.
She accused him of lying to the staff by telling them that the company has agreed on 4.5 percent, while indeed the company has offered a 5% salary hike to the staff.
“We have repeatedly requested via the senior shop steward that he informs the staff correctly about the company’s offer.
As stated in our letter addressed to all staff, the company offered 5% as was made clear at the conciliation meeting where he was a union representative, yet he keeps saying we offered 4.5 per cent”, she indicated.
She further accused him of wrongfully informing the workers that the union and negotiation committee agreed on a legal strike, while the two parties “have not entered into an agreement on the strike conditions”.
Hengari stated that Katuuo also threatened the safety of the managers and employees who are still working despite the circumstances, making threats that Napwu will take action to evict the guests which the company accommodate at the moment.
“He threatened the safety of the manager and workers who are willing to work under the trying circumstances.
He also threatened to drag them out so that the company suffers”, she bemoaned.
Hengari also indicated that Katuuo in the past incited violence whereby he said that they[Napwu] will not allow workers to do labour for others, adding that he also told them that they will organise for the police to be present.
Hengari made it clear to Nevonga that she is disappointed in the manner Katuuo handled the negotiations, saying that he has countless times insulted the professional and personal integrity of the negotiation committee members.
At the time of going to press, we were informed that it remained unlikely that Napwu would replace Katuuo.

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