City of Windhoek councillor and ex-mayor, Job Amupanda, has pulled out of a ministerial technical committee tasked with holding nationwide consultations on the controversial FIMA bill, his letter to finance minister, Ipumbu Shiimi shows.
Amupanda suggested that his presence on the committee made certain high-placed people uncomfortable and that Shiimi was coming under fire.
Amupanda was brought into the committee’s fold with the insistence of firebrand unionist and administrator of the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA), Kavihuha Mahongora, who needed a political science expert plus a lawyer.
However, Amupanda said that the unionist, too, was coming under tremendous pressure “from stooges” to get rid of him.
“As you are aware, I was asked by TUCNA, as a political scientist, to assist them with the engagement processes on FIMA that would take form of a technical committee. I agreed particularly because of the ideological clarity, commitment and the union consciousness of TUCNA Secretary General Mr Mahongora Kavihuha.”
“On 21st July 2022, you wrote a letter informing me of your decision to appoint me as a member of the technical committee. It would seem that despite signing the 21st July 2022 letter, you were not at ease. It is as if you had a gun on your head. It is for this reason that you ostensibly went to involve yourself in futile mobilisation efforts, including calling TUCNA leaders to change my nomination because you are under attack. Understandably, Mr Kavihuha is being pressured by stooges in contact with you and under your caprice.”
“To make it easy for you, to indeed allow you to breathe, in order to achieve the objectives you are seeking with phone calls, I have resolved to withdraw myself from your technical committee. You can now relax and go ahead with more important national duties such as finding money for government workers who are going on strike,” the AR leader said.
In the meantime, finance ministry spokesperson Wilson Ashikoto could not comment on the matter as he said he was yet to see the letter because he was in the regions with work.
Shiimi was reported to be on a regional consultation mission on the mid-term budget review.
Mahongora has, in the meantime, said that Amupanda has a democratic right to take whatever decision he sees fit and that the work of the committee will go on.
“Job has his own democratic right to decide whether to withdraw or not to withdraw the same way he accepted when we approached him in his capacity as the academia to assist where possible. Initially, we proposed two academics, one dealing with social science who would deal with socio-economic issues, and a human rights lawyer so that they can advise our team when it comes to issues of regulation and its impact on socio-economic issues of workers and citizens at large. So, that was the basis on which we got him on our team,” he said.
Mahongora said he was not aware of anyone being put under pressure due to the inclusion of the Affirmative Repositioning big-wig.
Amupanda, however, insisted that the FIMA regulations will be resisted.
He said, “but I must hasten to inform you, honourable minister, that the neoliberal ontology in general and the FIMA, in particular, will be fought with vigour and determination. I do so in adherence of the solemn counsel of one of the great revolutionaries of the African people Thomas Sankara who told us to invent the future; “It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future.” Indeed, uuyuni okugulu kwetemba!” (an Oshiwambo proverb meaning that the world and life, in general, are cyclical).