NUNW congress chances still unknown

NUNW's chances of attending the Swapo Party elective congress next month are not certain even after the union won a court case against its dismissed president Ismael Kasuto.

The union was barred from attending the central committee meeting two weeks ago after two leaders turned up.

Peter Nevonga and Kasuto had attended on behalf of the NUNW, but Swapo leaders then asked them to leave and sort out their differences.

Swapo Party Secretary General Nangolo Mbumba also took note of the court’s order but said talks with the union would continue behind closed doors.

“NUNW is an affiliate organisation to SWAPO, we (say) we are all comrades and whatever we are going to discuss is our own business. 

"You rightly said that the court pronounced itself and they did not pronounce it through you. They pronounced it in the court. So we have to talk with one another in our offices,” Mbumba told The Villager yesterday.

After the incident, NUNW secretary general Job Muniaro said it was up to Swapo to decide what to do with the union.

Muniaro yesterday expressed almost the same sentiments, saying that although they were not certain, the union would stay on course with its plans.

He also said that the union had not declared its support for any of the candidates seeking to be in the top four positions because it was not even allowed at the central committee earlier this month.

“At the past central committee, we were thrown out. I don’t know whether we still have the right to back anybody because currently, we are not in the system. I cannot promise you on who we are backing because we are not even going to have a voting right,” Muniaro said.

He said the union was also in doubt about being represented at the congress.

“We are not guaranteed because we have not yet gotten an answer (from Swapo) that guarantees us to back anybody. Currently, we cannot say we back anybody because we do not know who to back whether we are going to be part and parcel of the congress or not.”

The court order delivered by Judge Boas Usiku ruled in favour of the NUNW’s application to prevent Kasuto from entering the union’s premises without prior written permission, using the union’s letterhead and electronic devices on behalf of the union as well as interfering with its affiliates, employees, partners and office barriers.

Kasuto said that he would abide by the court ruling although he was contemplating appealing.

A disappointed Kasuto told The Villager that he expected the judge to rule in favour of the NUNW against him, because of what happened during the hearing process.

“The judgement did not serve justice to the workers especially on the issue of the structure,” Kasuto said. 

He told The Villager that he will appeal the court decision, “We are going to appeal this which will in principle nullify the current judgement. We would want to see the details of why the judgment came to this decision.”

He, however, said that he will comply with the court order for now and he is also obligated to comply with the resolution taken by the central executive committee (CEC) because it is coming from the structure.

Kasuto maintains that the parties who brought the case before the court did not have legal grounds because it consisted of officials of affiliates and an official of the NUNW.

“The issue that we disputed the most was the structure that brought the case to court. I would want to see how the court addressed that in its judgement.

“The constitution is clear on who should attend the CEC,” he said.

Kasuto also said that the union would not be able to resolve the issue of factions in the federation until an appeal has been made in court and this decision has been nullified.

“The factions are already there, especially the ones driven by the affiliate officials who have party ambitions to attend the Swapo congress. 

“Their list is not a representative of the worker's affiliates. That division will be there until we resolve this issue,” Kasuto said.