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Governor speaks out after recording debacle

Governor speaks out after recording debacle

Governor speaks out after recording debacle

Niël Terblanché

The Governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, landed in the crossfire of vindictive labour union politics which is currently driven by the ailing Namibian economy.
The extreme pressure of internal union politics on the Secretary General of the National Union of Namibian Workers, Job Muniaro, found a perfect escape valve in the governor when a controversial audio recording of a meeting between Mutjavikua and the top management of Swakop Uranium surfaced on social media platforms.
Secretary General Muniaro as the leader of the biggest workers’ union federation launched a scathing public attack on Governor Mutjavikua and accused him of betraying Namibian workers by allegedly suggesting to the top management of Swakop Uranium use the Mine Worker Union’s own bargaining agreement and the Labour Law to enable the mining company to restructure and to cut workers’ benefits. Muniaro also demanded that Mutjavikua must be removed from his position
In an exclusive interview Governor Mutjavikua spoke out for the first time after the controversial fall-out and said the ailing economy combined with the low commodity price of uranium has created chaos for mining companies trying to stay financially afloat. He said the current economic situation is not only putting pressure on companies but also on the workers.
“This situation increases the pressure on the labour unions representing the workers and to continuously find the perfect balance becomes extremely difficult.”
Mutjavikua said he is the product of workers and that workers voted him into his current position.
“To accuse me of betraying the workers is just an indication of the extreme internal political pressure certain union leaders are currently experiencing.”
He said as the Governor of Erongo, he has worked extremely hard to ensure that the region is a preferred foreign and national investment destination with the sole purpose of creating jobs for the people residing in the region.

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