Venaani is trying to score political points: Esau

08 Sep 2016 18:40pm
WALVIS BAY, 08 SEP (NAMPA) – The Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources has accused DTA of Namibia President McHenry Venaani of attempting to score political points by lobbying for the reinstatement of dismissed fishermen.
Speaking during a media conference here on Thursday, Bernard Esau said the fishermen’s case was a pure labour issue and should therefore not be politicised.
“This is a labour issue and it should be addressed according to the Labour Law. Whatever happened to the fishermen’s jobs was done according to the law; they embarked on an illegal strike and now bear the consequences,” said the minister.
Venaani, in an address to over 600 fishermen here last week, threatened to mobilise hundreds of unemployed people for a mass peaceful demonstration to campaign for the fishermen’s reinstatement.
The DTA president said then his action has no political motives, but was merely a means to address the situation which he said has become critical.
“The companies must re-employ these people within 30 days from now. If they do not have money then their fishing quotas must be increased. We are giving Government 30 days to solve this matter; if not a mass demonstration will come,” he noted in the address to the fishermen.
The fishermen were dismissed after they went on an apparent illegal strike, demanding increases in their basic salaries, medical aid, overtime, and a housing allowance among others.
Chairperson of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations (CNFA) Matti Amukwa also rubbished Venaani’s threat. He said Venaani’s statement is irresponsible because the country is governed by laws and if anyone breaks such laws, such person ought to be punished.
Amukwa said there will be no reinstatement as the posts are already filled.