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MUN leadership squabbles not urgent - Court

2024-06-07  Maria Sheya

MUN leadership squabbles not urgent - Court

The suspended president of the Mine Workers Union of Namibia, Ismael Kasuto and his deputy Desley Somseb, have failed to convince the Windhoek High Court that their matter is urgent and should jump the court’s queue.

Judge Collins Parker said despite Kasuto and Somseb alleging that the union and its current leadership failed to comply with the union’s constitution, they failed to give reasons why their matter needed to be heard urgently. Furthermore, they do not explain why it took them eight days to launch an application.

Parker further said despite the duo claiming that their suspension and termination of the membership were unlawful and that they were unable to perform their duties, they still do not meet the court’s requirement for the matter to be heard on an urgent basis.

“I find that the applicants have not set out explicitly the reasons why they could not be afforded redress at a hearing in due course,” said Parker. The former MUN leaders approached the High Court for a second time after they were suspended after a vote of no confidence in them was passed at a meeting held on 28 April.

Their first urgent application was also struck from the High Court’s roll on 10 May for lack of urgency. In this dismissed application, the pair, along with Jessica Haradoes, the northern regional secretary, sought an array of orders against the trade union and its officials.

Among the orders sought, the group wanted the court to nullify and declare that the meeting of 28 April, which took place at Tsumeb, where the vote of no confidence was passed against Kasuto and Somseb, was unlawful.

The decision to appoint Mathew Poco-Key Mberiuana as acting president of the trade union must also be declared unlawful.

They wanted the court to declare that Kasuto and Somseb were duly elected leaders of MUN and shall remain as office bearers until new officials are elected lawfully by secret ballot.

The group also wanted the decision of the national executive committee (NEC) of 11 May communicated to Haradoes, inviting her to make a presentation for her appeal, to be declared null, void and unlawful.

They further sought the court to declare the decision to suspend Kasuto and Somseb unlawful as it was done contrary to the union’s constitution. The group claimed they were ousted from the trade union under the guise of suspension. In addition, they were never given an opportunity to be heard before the decision to suspend them was taken.

They claimed to have been unlawfully stripped of their duties and mandate, which included investigating the financial affairs of the trade union.

The group’s term, which commenced in May 2023, is expected to end on 5 May 2029.

Responding to the group, Mberiuana said there was no need for a second urgent application as they will be given an opportunity to be heard in due course, as the suspension does not deprive them of that right.

2024-06-07  Maria Sheya

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