Job seekers demonstrate, demand removal of Ipinge and Neumbo

05 Jul 2017 12:50pm
OTJIWARONGO, 05 JUL (NAMPA) - Nearly 100 job seekers staged a peaceful demonstration here on Wednesday, demanding the removal of Otjozondjupa Regional Governor Otto Ipinge from his position.
The group accused Ipinge of failing to carry out “his mandate of fighting and representing” community members in need of jobs and development activities in the region.
The same group also wants Otjiwarongo Constituency Councillor Julius Neumbo out, saying he is siding with Chinese people, apparently busy harvesting resources of the country at Otjiwarongo.
Most of these protesters also handed over a petition to the Office of the Otjozondjupa Regional Governor on 10 June 2017, demanding jobs at the construction site of the Whale Rock Cement factory at Otjiwarongo.
The factory, trading under Cheetah Cement, started construction activities in March this year on a portion of land situated approximately 6 kilometres north of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region.
The land belongs to the Otjiwarongo Municipality and was leased to the cement factory for a period of not less than 100 years.
The job seekers on Wednesday marched from the Orwetoveni residential area to the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, where both Ipinge and Neumbo’s offices are situated.
“Down Ipinge down, down Neumbo down”; “We want you out please, we want new leaders” and “You have sold our resources to the Chinese” shouted the group shortly before handing over a petition to Neumbo.
Neumbo promised to hand it over to Ipinge.
The group further claimed that some easy jobs like pushing wheelbarrows and mixing concrete are allegedly being done by Chinese nationals contracted to build the cement factory.
The disgruntled job seekers suggested that jobs at the site be split into half for Namibians and half for Chinese.
The job seekers also called on the Namibian Government to force the Chinese construction company to apply working conditions stipulated by the Namibian labour laws and regulations.
Whale Rock Cement Employee Relations’ Officer, Willem /Nanub on 30 May 2017 told Nampa about 80 Chinese and 10 to 20 local Namibians are employed at the site to construct the administration block of the factory as the first phase.
/Nanub said the company will need more skilled and semi-skilled Namibians during the second phase of the project when construction of the plant starts in August this year.
He said over 400 job opportunities will be created during the second phase.