Matheus Hamutenya Keetmanshoop-The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) has elected new leadership for its southern region at its biennial conference held last Saturday at Rosh Pinah. The conference elected Allen Kalumbu as its regional chairperson, Simeon Angombe as vice chairperson, Hashondali Kakuti as regional secretary, Johannes Hango as vice secretary, with Polivester Hangula and Monika Iipinge as treasurer and vice treasurer, respectively. Kalumbu, who was vice chairperson for the last two years, and Hangula, who retained his position, are the only ones to have remained from the previous team, with the rest being newly elected members. They will lead the southern region for a period of two years. In an interview with New Era after his victory, Kalumbu said the elections were fiercely contested and he is glad to have been elected despite some people not wanting him to make it. He said the new leadership under his stewardship would ensure that the rights and interests of the workers are respected. He added that the new leadership would, especially not allow any of their members to lose their jobs, and he called on MUN members to be at peace. “I am here to defend the interest of the workers at any given time, with no favour and fear. My approach will be radical, so our members should be at ease, and not worry about anything because we shall approach and use all avenues, be it political [or otherwise], to get what we want,” he said. The new chairman also had a message for those capitalists looking to exploit Namibian workers, saying their time is up, as MUN under the new leadership will not tolerate the exploitation of workers. He further said the new leadership is faced with many challenges, especially with many mines looking to retrench or outsource their operations, which means many people will not be employed on a permanent basis with good benefits. However, he assured the members that the union would fight to ensure that they get the same benefits even if mines outsource operations. He said the trend of outsourcing is a selfish act by capitalists, aimed at making maximum profits at the expense of the workers. He added that any company planning on outsourcing operations must be aware that MUN will not let it happen without putting up a good fight. “Companies no longer want to employ permanent workers, this is just to increase their profit margins, and make sure that people are employed on contract and do not have benefits, it is a hire and fire at any given time. So, we have to make sure that whoever comes in, people enjoy the same benefits like before,” he said.
2018-02-27 09:48:08 6 months ago