The Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN) elected a new leadership at the weekend, with the vibrant Rossing Uranium employee representative, Ismael Kasuto, becoming the new president.
Kasuto and several others were elected at Swakopmund after the union's national executive committee decided on an extra-ordinary congress, to do away with the former leadership, headed by John Ndeutepo.
Talks are that the decision for the new leadership was fuelled by differences between Ndeutepo's camp and that of his deputy Michael Iita.
Both Ndeutepo and Iita terms in office were due to end in 2015 respectively, but the executive called the congress to address what they term domestic issues pertaining to MUN's constitution's Section 11.3.
The Villager understands that the congress was also brought about a leadership style of the former unionists
When contacted today, Kasuto said the union elected a new leadership which will serve in the interest of mine workers in the country.
He ruled out a vote of no confidence in the previous leadership, arguing that the elections were not because of differences between the former two union leaders.
“The election was democratic and was accepted by everybody,” said Kasuto.
Ndaeutepo said he is not battered about losing his post despite his term coming to an end.
He said has done all he could just like any other president, adding that he wants to see a transparent leadership within the union from now on.
Ndeutepo, who served as president since 2010, urged for unity and a good working relationship between the union and the workers.
He also confirmed that he has no personal issues with Iita.
“I did not lose anything. Congress resolved its leadership. It was not just about me and Iita. It was about 18 people that made up the national executive committee. I am very happy for what I have done as president. At a congress anyone can be a president,” Ndaeutepo said.
Iita who was replaced by Michell Gontes, was not willing to talk to talk to The Villager, simply saying that the union's constitution bars her to do so.
A statement issued late by Kasuto states that the union members from the south, west, central and north felt that the a leadership change was needed to bring harmony in the union.
Other members elected were Anthony Bessinger for the National Secretary position, Paulus Namwandi will serve as his deputy.
The new National Treasurer is Freddy Kashimba and will be deputised by Sara Kandapo.
A total of 506 delegates attended the congress which was opened by Erongo Governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua.