Tondoro constituency councillor Joseph Sikongo has expressed concern over the continued strike on the Namibian Broadcasting Company (NBC), saying it’s depriving politicians and communities of their constitutional proper to entry to info.
Sikongo can be the chairperson of the Kavango West Regional Council.
“We’re dissatisfied in regards to the ongoing, unresolved problem of bargaining salaries of NBC staff. Communities, particularly within the rural areas rely on radio for information and leisure. The agricultural communities are being deprived on this course of, not the NBC staff … We’re being held hostage by the strike, and I’m actually dissatisfied,” he says.
He says the NBC’s administration ought to clear up the problem as quickly as potential.
The councillor says he’s at present compelled to drive from home to accommodate and village to village to speak.
Outjo councillor Johannes Antsino says he too finds it troublesome to convey vital messages to his constituents.
“We have now locations with out community, and we’ve got individuals who don’t have any entry to social media or the web. It is costlier to get the message to them now … We often write to the NBC to make our bulletins in all native languages, however now it is extraordinarily troublesome for us to speak,” he says.
Some NBC staff have been on strike for the previous three weeks.
They’re demanding an 8% wage enhance, in addition to elevated transport, lodging and medical support allowances.
They’re additionally demanding that month-to-month contract staff are supplied everlasting contracts.
Namibia Public Staff Union (Napwu) deputy secretary common Gabes Adumba has insisted that staff’ calls for must be met with out compromise.
PENSIONERS FEEL ISOLATED
Selma Kambonde (78) from Omandongo village within the Oshikoto area is one in every of many senior residents who’re affected by the shortage of NBC radio transmissions.
“Life with no radio is like you might be left at the hours of darkness. You can not hear what is occurring round you, nothing,” she says.
“Our councillors would inform us by means of the radio of something occurring in our constituencies every single day within the morning, however that has stopped.
“We’d additionally be told on our subsequent pension assortment dates by means of the radio, however now … it is just like the world has stopped transferring,” she says.
Kambonde is pleading with the federal government to return to the NBC staff’ support.
Amalia Sakeus, one other affected pensioner, says: “The radio would talk about points that have an effect on us, particularly us residing within the rural areas, as a result of we would not have televisions. Our grandchildren would be told of vacancies and different vital info through radio. These with out cellphones would be told of their family’ deaths or of funeral preparations.
“The federal government should hearken to the employees’ plight to allow them to return to work. Different radio stations air programmes in English solely, which we don’t perceive. We’re on our knees, the federal government should help the poor staff of the NBC.”
Two weeks in the past NBC board chairperson Lazarus Jacob mentioned the board was dedicated to discovering options to the nationwide broadcaster’s challenges.
“We’re at this stage seized with discovering funds that can make sure the sustainability of the enterprise to be deemed as a going concern,” he mentioned.
Nevertheless, minister of data and communication know-how Peya Mushelenga final week mentioned the federal government can’t afford wage increments.
On Wednesday final week NBC staff marched to parliament saying the broadcaster doesn’t belong to politicians, however to the individuals of Namibia.