By John Tuerijama
TRADE unionist, Olsen Kahiriri is a man on a mission. After securing a new term as secretary general of the Namibia Football Players Union (NAFPU) at its congress last weekend, Kahiriri has vowed to continue fighting for players’ rights.
His primary occupation, he said, would be to ensure that he secures a minimum wage for Namibian players plying their trade domestically. Very soon, he said, the union will start engaging employers on the minimum wage.
He also lamented on clubs who disregarded football regulations on players’ status and transfers, claiming that some clubs do not even pay their players during the off season.
Kahiriri noted that the attitude towards disputes and contracts has negatively affected players and has vowed to ensure that the situation is reversed in favour of the players.
Another challenge that Kahiriri said he will deal with in his four-year term as head of the union’s secretariat will be to cement NAFPU’s recognition by the football bodies.
“When I started, I was mandated to organise the just-ended elective congress. I have also increased the number of union members from 72 to 256 members. And as we speak we are fully recognised by the Namibia Football Association (NFA). It is in black and white and we have also presented the Namibia Premier League (NPL) with a draft recognition agreement,” he disclosed.
Growing the union’s membership base and attracting more female footballers will also be a key focus of Kahiriri’s tenure at the helm of the country’s only football trade union.
“We will definitely be seeing tangible changes of which players will now realise the crucial role that a players’ union can play,” said Kahiriri.
Meanwhile, founding member and former Brave Warriors midfield sensation, Lolo Goraseb was re-elected as president of NAFPU with Brave Gladiators skipper Mommy Kasaona as first vice president and Brave Warriors skipper Ronald Ketjijere elected as second vice president.
Black Africa’s Brian Bantam is the union’s new treasurer, taking over from former Civics defender Donnelly Nell. Bradley Wermann and Elina Uulumbu are additional members.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015