|March 20, 2002
Unionists disagree on AirNam deal
National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) President Risto Kapenda and
his Secretary General Ranga Haikali appear to be set on a collision course.
Kapenda has vowed to fight the recent privatisation of Air Namibia of which
Haikali has been drafted into management. Kapenda said on March 19 that as head
of the trade union federation he was not aware of the deal. The NUNW's
investment arm, Labour Investment Holdings (LIH), is said to hold a 10 per cent
stake in the new airline. He also said he was not aware of Haikali's
appointment to a three-person management team which will take over the running
of Air Namibia from April 1 2002 until the completion of the privatisation
process on July 1.
"We have not approved for any parastatal to be privatised. We are going
to fight it ... privatisation of Government entities will definitely not be
allowed. It is a big no to privatisation," Kapenda said. He said "only the
state should remain the sole owner of Air Namibia". Kapenda said the
privatisation of State-owned enterprises only meant the further enrichment of a
few individuals who were already rich.
In terms of the privatisation deal announced by Air Namibia Chairman
Vekuii Rukoro, effective July 1, Government will slash its shareholding in the
airline from 100 per cent to 25 per cent, South African Airlink will be the new
majority shareholder with a 40 per cent stake. A local private airline, Comav,
will have a 15 per cent stake and LIH 10 per cent. In addition, airline
employees will have a 10 per cent stake. (THE NAMIBIAN)