By Martin Negumbo|

The Confidente newspaper-company has dismissed a media union’s claims that the newspaper has been abusing, exploiting and intimidating its journalists.

Namibia Media Professionals Union (NAMPU) last week released a statement in which it said that it “has learned with grave concern of the continued unfair labour practices that our members employed by Confidente have been subjected to by the owner – one arrogant Max Hamata.”

The union stated that “the distasteful labour practices include but are not limited to pathetic low wages, lack of commensurate employment benefits, delays in payment of monthly salaries, use of employment visas to silence foreign journalists employed by the paper, and vague employment contracts.”

In response Confidente yesterday released a statement saying that NAMPU’s statement was “marred with many unsubstantiated allegations.”

The statement signed by Ms Loide Moses, head of finance, admin and HR at Confidente stated that “we had an 11 day salary delay, the first of its kind in our organization since the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020 which saw some established publications trim up to 50% of their workforce, cut salaries and reconfigure their news work.”

Moses said that the delayed salaries have since been paid and “we are hopeful that we will not have further delays.”

Confidente also dismissed claims by NAMPU that the company has been intimidating and silencing foreign journalists on its payroll.

“This is regrettable as it’s directly contrary to the cordial relationships we enjoy with them as some of our prime employees who have guided our organization to be successful.”

Confidente concluded by saying that unionists should promote sustainability and growth within a challenged media landscape and desist from fueling animosity and vendetta activism which is aimed at character assassination without just cause.

In the photo: Confidente is one of a few black-owned newspapers in Namibia.