By Staff Reporter
The Namibia Transport and Taxi Union president Werner Januarie has hit back at lawyer Silus Shakumu for being a coward after the latter distanced himself from a bid to drag government to court over what he terms as unconstitutional and unjust traffic fines issued to taxi drivers.
Januarie had previously expressed happiness announcing that at long last their bid to face off government in court over the fines was becoming a reality by having Shakumu bought in.
“We want to give a stern warning to the lawyers because some of them are probably politicians and they just come here to do stupid things or whatever the case may be. We want to give a serious warning to any lawyer that is coming to us right now or any lawyer that we are going to approach.
If they are not serious with our issue they must just tell us the first five minutes in which we meet that I do understand your case so I would rather not engage you on those issues then its fine, we go look for other lawyers,” he said.
He said they were trying to look for extra sources of funds to secure legal representation by lawyers outside of the country.
“I do not know why these lawyers are afraid. It’s just a straight forward case. May be its politics because lawyers also have private businesses and also get contracts. So maybe they are afraid of their friends, but that to me would be very selfish.
Some of us have been working for the past 15 years just for the interest of our people without even a salary. Somebody thinking about his millions is not only selfish but is cowardice,” he lashed.
Januarie added, “But we already had our suspicions from the beginning. Remember in our first discussion with the lawyer, they were advising us not to go to the town-hall meeting. That in itself was already suspicious.
“The other thing they were advising against giving a public statement. It’s something to stop somebody to give a public statement. Statements in the media? Ha no no!” he said.
The Patriot understands that the lawyer was providing his services on a pro-bono basis, although Januarie indicated in written statements that they were appealing to members of the public (interested stakeholders) to donate monies towards the court effort.
A lady The Patriot spoke to at Shakumu’s law firm confirmed that the lawyer had not fully committed to NTTU’s course as yet, although Januarie had earlier indicated that representation had already been secured. Januarie has also said that he will be at the town-hall meeting to confront President Hage Geingob on their concerns.
He also said that their march to State-house was still on, slated for the 20th of August.
“We will be at the town-hall meeting on the 15th of August. Nothing will stop us. Especially me, who will stop me my friend. Nobody will stop me! We want to send a strong message to the Head of State that he must be ready for the NTTU. It’s an open platform.
The President, if he is not a coward, should meet me on or before the 15th of August then he decided to have a town-hall meeting on the 15th of August. But this is a public platform and I am part of the public. I don’t know if I am not part of the Namibian public,” he said.
Januarie is not new to making controversial utterances to the President which at one time saw the latter refusing to meet up with him. He lashed out at Geingob calling him a cry-baby.
Responding a few weeks ago to The Patriot on whether the President would meet Januarie, spokesperson to the Presidency Alfredo Hengari said, “President Hage G. Geingob is a promoter of institutions and has directed the Taxi Union to the line ministry.”