WINDHOEK – Opposition Nudo party yesterday said retrenchments mooted at national broadcaster NBC should not target low-paid employees unless top management salaries are revealed.
Nudo’s remarks follow a slew of austerity measures announced by the broadcaster’s board chairperson Sven Thieme on Monday that, among others, could see 156 staff members being send home.
The move also includes switching off live cameras from parliament and abolishing four of its TV channels from yesterday due to the dire financial situation the company find itself in.
Outspoken Nudo Secretary General Josef Kauandenge yesterday said his party has taken note of Monday media release in which the broadcaster board announced austerity measures aimed at addressing the serious financial situation at the corporation.
“What pains us amongst those measures is the fact that over 150 low paid employees will be laid off. The question that begs an answer is how much money do the executives receive at the national broadcaster?” Kauandenge questioned.
He said it is high time that the executive’s salary packages be revealed so that we can see properly and understand where the bulk of the money at NBC goes.
“We are confident enough to say that the executives are by far and large equally to be blamed for the financial situation at the NBC, as they are overpaid,” he said.
“It is regrettable that when there are cuts to be made at any state run enterprise, it is always the low paid employees who suffer as a result of mismanagement and over the top salaries paid to those in leadership positions,” he added.
Executives are hardly affected when it comes to downsizing of any of the country’s state owned enterprises, he observed.
“In most cases, is lower level workers that are affected. In this serious economic meltdown, these NBC poor employees cannot be made scapegoats and suffer because they are going to be retrenched,” Kauandenge stresses.
On a positive note, Kauandenge called upon government to avail the necessary funds so that no one loses their job and that the NBC continues to fulfill its statutory obligation towards the Namibian nation.
“There is no way that the free time allocations to political parties and the overall coverage of political parties and events can be or should be allowed to be affected by this drastic step from the NBC board,” he said.
“Democracy is a costly exercise, that much we know, however, it is essential that government steps in now and provide the much needed funds to NBC so that our democratic rights cannot be affected, where Namibians will be denied the right to hear and listen to all participating political parties before making their final decision who to vote for,” Kauandenge said.