Katutura State Hospital workers hold peaceful demonstration

07 Nov 2017 19:50pm
WINDHOEK, 07 NOV (NAMPA) – Cleaners, drivers, porters and kitchen staff of the Katutura State Hospital carried out a peaceful demonstration on Tuesday over alleged unfair treatment at their workplace.
The demonstration, spearheaded by the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu), started at the hospital and proceeded to the Ministry of Health and Social Services head office at the Windhoek Central Hospital.
Upon the arrival of the demonstrators at the head office, Health Minister Bernard Haufiku came out of the office and went straight to his vehicle without addressing them, a situation which led to the workers acting in an aggressive manner. They then blocked Haufiku’s vehicle before Napwu representatives intervened to quell the aggression.
Reading the petition on behalf of the workers, Napwu Branch Organiser Richard Madi stated that workers’ demands range from the provision of cleaning materials to clean the hospital floors, uniforms to wear during working hours as well as outstanding overtime payments that they have been waiting for since April this year.
Madi explained that tuberculosis patients are sharing plates and cups, which is a health risk, adding that management changes the working shifts of the workers on a monthly basis without proper consultation.
Madi further accused nurses at the Katutura State Hospital of being disrespectful towards cleaners during the execution of their duties.
The workers also requested that the minister address their concerns as soon as possible, while also calling on him to remove some management members whom they regard as ‘not capable’ of managing the hospital.
The ministry’s Permanent Secretary Andreas Mwoombola received the petition and promised to forward it to Haufiku.
Mwoombola asked the workers to exercise patience as their demands need to be deliberated over, saying that they can expect feedback in two weeks’ time.