THE 31-year-old Sakeus Taapopi Shikongo, a leader of the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU), a member of the Swapo affiliated National Union of Namibian Workers, was arrested for soliciting a bribe in exchange for convincing restaurant employees to settle for a reduced salary increase.
This turn of events cast a deep shadow over the interest of union leaders and is a test of credibility in wage negotiations. The Swapo affiliated public service unions are currently negotiating a wage increase for civil servants while various other companies are engaged on different levels with the demands of salary increases during the Namibian economic crisis and drought emergency.
The 31-year-old Shikongo was set free on bail of N$3 500 after the Anti-corruption Commission arrested him while receiving the bribe on Tuesday.
“It is alleged that Shikongo solicited a bribe of N$5 000 from the Managing Director of the Hickory Creek Spur in Swakopmund in exchange to persuade workers of that company to accept a 3% percent increase on their hourly pay rate which the company agreed to implement against the 9% to 12% increase the workers demanded.”
According to a statement issued by the ACC the matter was reported to their offices and a sting operation was organised. Shikongo was arrested after he received a bribe of N$2 500. It is alleged that the remaining N$2 500 was to be paid after he succeeded in persuading the employees to settle for the reduced salary increase.
Shikongo appeared in the Walvis Bay Magistrate’s Court earlier on Wednesday on charges of corruptly soliciting gratification.
Shikongo was granted bail of N$3 500 by the presiding magistrate. Bail was granted on condition that the accused person had to hand in his passport to the investigating officer and that he reports to the Walvis Bay Police Station twice a week.