Taxi boss’s claim against government balloons to more than half a billion dollars

Stefanus Nashama

Werner Januarie, the President of the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU), has written to the Popular Democratic Movement’s McHenry Venaani and the Republican Party’s Henk Mudge to help him sue the government for N$522 million.

According to court documents, Januarie has previously sought damages amounting to N$74 million, however, in the letter, he stated that amongst other things, the lawsuit of N$74 million has ballooned to N$522 million in the appeal he registered as SA 82/ 2023.

In the letters to the various political leaders, Januarie expressed disappointment in the Namibian judicial system.

“As a union, we have ideological clarity of thought, therefore due to our ideological positioning I approach your good institutions being political parties and trade unions that are like-minded and share the same values, principles, and ideologies, to safeguard the independence of the judiciary,” he stated.

Mahongora Kavihuha, Secretary-General of the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA) was also listed in the request for solidarity by Januarie.

While begging for help, Januarie pointed out that once the matter is set down for hearing, he would extend an invitation to oppositions named above for the bearing of witness to the proceedings.

He believes the presence of outside observers who are impartial and who don’t have a vested or direct and substantial interest in the matter is required.

“It is on that basis that the above invitation is extended to you, your members, and supporters as we do require your attendance,” he stated.

Januaries is suing the government for N$74 million in connection with an incident that occurred in August 2020, in which he claims members of the Namibian Defence Force and the Namibian Police Force assaulted him.

According to the court case document, Januarie claims that he was harassed, assaulted and had an AK-47 rifle pointed at him by law enforcement officers.

He accused Judge Esi Schimming-Chase of acting inconsistently with the provisions of the law and failing to demonstrate independence and impartiality during the proceedings of his court case.

Equally, Januarie urged Chief Justice Peter Shivute, to ensure the upholding of the principles of neutrality, impartiality, fairness and independence in the judiciary system.

This, he said, constitutes essential components of the doctrine of the separation of powers, designed to safeguard citizens’ liberties and prevent tyranny.

Vennani requested to see the letter before commenting on the call.

Efforts to get comments from Mudge and Kavihuha did not bear any results.

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