Namibian president calls for restraint as teacher strike looms

Namibian President Hage Geingob

Namibian President Hage Geingob said Friday the strike-threatening teachers are making the country ungovernable.

Teachers in Namibia voted on Wednesday and Thursday on whether they should go on strike following the breakdown of negotiations with the government over salary rise.

The teachers’ demand of 8-percent salary increase was unmet by the government’s promise of a 5-percent rise and another 7 percent in the next financial year.

Although the results of the vote are not yet published, Geingob, who called for a press conference at State House in Windhoek, said teachers should rethink the strike action.

The president urged the teachers to accept the 5-percent offer.

Last week, the Office of the Prime Minister that is negotiating with teachers, said the government could not afford an 8-percent increase.

Namibia’s economic outlook was revised by Fitch Rating from stable to negative last week largely due to the budget deficit and depleted foreign reserves.

The finance minister Calle Schlettwein also said the government will have to cut down on subsistence and travel allowances as well as put on hold a number of capital project to save money.

Source: Xinhua