Rally for Democracy and Progress Youth League (RDPYL) has expressed its sympathy and unwavering support for the striking teachers whose demands for fair benefits, it says, have fallen on the Swapo party-led government's deaf ears since 2006.
In a press statement released this afternoon, the opposition’s youth wing said it rejects, with “the contempt it deserves”, the arrest of the eight teachers at Oshakati who found themselves behind bars for peacefully assembling.
“This is a bad omen for our democracy and peace. The RDPYL implores all the Namibians to unite behind teachers, nurses, doctors and civil servants and shun the greedy elites who are putting their stomachs before the interests of the people,” RDPYL secretary-general, Sibuku Malumbano said.
The threats from officials directed at teachers of withholding their pay if they continue with the strike, he added, are not what Namibia’s heroes and heroines sacrificed their lives for.
“They are also likely to face evictions and/or dismissals despite all their rights to express themselves,” he lamented.
According to him, teachers are entrusted with shaping national mind-sets and creating resourceful citizens. Thus, if those entrusted with such a serious responsibility are not well paid, then chaos is likely to ensue. He also expressed his dismay over the issue of public health workers who are entrusted with saving lives in the most traumatising working environments, saying their motivation level will fall if their grievances continue to be ignored.
“Those rotating in expensive leather chairs might not care, because they don't make use of the health policies they have implemented for the poor. When politicians are sick, they go to well-resourced private hospitals and only return to public health hospitals when they get better and/or cut cost,” he said, adding, Dr Abraham Iiyambo and Dr Richard Kamwi and the rest of their Government high profile functionaries should listen to the teachers and the nurses and not repeat the history of colonialisation.
Malumbano asserted, greedy and intimidating over-paid politicians are slowly destroying Namibia’s hopes for a bright future rooted in what was started in the early 90s as the best blueprint for democracy in Africa and the rest of the world.
He further stated, Swapo party’s authority is only being buttressed by ignorant voters and the tender sharks who keep returning the mandate to it through votes: “It is extremely sad to note that our leaders have failed decimally to learn from bad experiences elsewhere [in Africa].”
He then urged family members of the striking teachers to show their undivided solidarity.