Government employees demonstrate at Oshakati

18 Sep 2015 07:30am


Hundreds of civil servants from the northern regions of Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto who say their salaries are too low staged a peaceful demonstration at Oshakati on Thursday.

The demonstration followed a meeting held at Ondangwa's Oluno suburb and attended by northern Government employees last Saturday. They marched from the Yetu Business Complex to the office of the Oshana Regional Governor, Clemens Kashuupulwa in Oshakati East, where they handed over a petition.

Their petition mainly contained demands for improved working conditions for what they termed 'low paid Government employees'.

They amongst others mentioned nurses, senior administrative officers, administrative officers, cleaners, labourers, cooks, hostel matrons and watchmen as those whose salaries are not sufficient. A salary increment of 12 per cent for all public servants, the re-grading of their salaries and bush allowance payment for those working in remote areas form part of their demands for improved conditions of service.

They said an incentive allowance was negotiated and an agreement was reached by the Namibian National Teachers' Union (NANTU) and Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) and Government that public servants in rural areas get bush allowance. This agreement, they claimed, was reached in November 2012.

The unions could not be contacted at the time of the filing this report.

"We have been waiting for so long to get this incentive up to now. Those that are members of NAPWU contacted their union several times and did not get any answers," the protesters stated in their petition.

The same petition said the gross salary of a government cleaner is N.dollars 3 000 per month. The disgruntled government employees say they cannot afford to buy houses, cars and cannot afford medical expenses for their children due to the low salaries.

They gave the government 14 working days as from Thursday to respond to their petition and threatened to down tools if nothing is done within that period.

"No money, no deliver" read one of the placards they waved during the demonstration.

The spokesperson of the group, Anna Felix read their petition before handing it over to Kashuupulwa's special advisor, Michael Mwinga.

"I receive your petition on behalf of my governor. It will go to the relevant authorities," he said when he received the petition.