Namibia Economic Freedom Fighter member, Michael Amushelelo, said he will join the striking employees of the National Housing Enterprise on Monday, as they demand for salary increases.
This is despite the court granting him bail earlier this week, with strict conditions, including that he is not arrested on similar charges. He was last arrested after he joined striking City of Windhoek cleaners, who demanded better wages and that they be made permanent employees. They further demanded that they be granted the same benefits that permanent employees currently receive.
The employees of NHE who embarked on a strike today are demanding an increase of seven percent.
Amushelelo, who has become a perpetual striker today said he was arrested a lot of times , based on the law of the colonial system.Part of the bail conditions is that he reports himself to the Windhoek Police Station every Monday between 08h00-17h00.
“The police are using the system to arrest me, paint me in a bad image and keep me away from standing up for the truth, and against injustice and the exploitation of the workers.
They don’t like me simply because I stood for the people. I am not violent, all I do is be the voice of the voiceless. Someone must be speaking for the poor,” said Amushelelo who’s also facing more than 300 charges for operating an investment scheme, explained.
According to Amushelelo, Namibia is still not independent because the police enforced the same apartheid and colonial laws that were meant to discriminate and exploit workers and to stop them from protesting.
“Who else is arrested like me? Who else is treated the way I am treated? Who else is charged the way I am charged?” he questioned.
“I have never carried a knife or a gun at a protest. I have never beaten up anyone, yet I am the one to be arrested for standing up for the people,” he added.
He said the police should stop behaving like the old apartheid police, enforcing apartheid laws and brutality on innocent unarmed civilians.
“I do not work for the City of Windhoek and I am not the one exploited, but i associate myself with the poor people who are exploited and suffering. I just feel pity for them. There are many things happening in the City of Windhoek, and everybody knows it. The City is failing to have the position of Chief Executive Officer filled,” he added.
A defiant Amushelelo indicated that he will still be leading a peaceful protest next week Monday to shut down Independence Avenue all the way to the City of Windhoek’s head office in town.
Asked if he is not afraid to be arrested again, he said “Some of us are not scared of jail”.
“We must really stand up. Me standing up alone will not change anything. We should all stand up,” he emphasized.