• June 17th, 2019
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Christmas meaningless without money

Selma Ikela 

WINDHOEK- A 52-year-old man’s wish for Christmas is to buy his children clothes, food and school uniforms for next year.  
His wish to buy himself brand-new trousers to be able to attend church, shares unemployed Joseph Muraranganda, a resident of the Goreangab informal settlement. Muraranganda says life became hard when he lost his job last year at a local building material and supplies company. 

Before he became jobless, Muraranganda used to provide for his family and did not rely on anyone. Joseph and Meriam Muraranganda were found at the Samora Machel Constituency office early this month collecting their monthly food parcels from the food bank programme. 

The Ministry of Poverty Eradication expelled rumours that some beneficiaries, including the Muraranganda family will not benefit from the food bank starting February next year. The Muraranganda children were waiting for their parents at their resident in Hardap Street, and ran excitedly to meet their parents with the food parcels.  The erven is occupied by corrugated iron zincs which house the family.  Under a tree, the family was engaged to share their plans and wishes for Christmas if there were any. But Meriam said they don’t have anything planned but will eat the food they received from the food bank, which consisted of maize meal, cans of corned beef, cooking oil, beans and sugar. 

“Why are you asking us that? You plan when you have money. What do you plan without money? Unless we are invited by neighbours to join them for Christmas,” said Joseph pointing to his daughter and children who needed new clothing. He fully paid for his erven when he was employed. The plan was to build a brick house for his family but this plan seems to be fading away.   He said his water has been cut off so many times. “If the water is cut off, so is the electricity. As we are sitting here, we are waiting for the water to be cut off,” Joseph feared, one reason he may be on high blood pressure tablets.  He also showed his swollen feet on the day after the long-distance walk to collect their food parcels. However, Joseph expressed appreciation for having been a food bank beneficiary, praying to the Lord to give president Hage Geingob strength and more years to lead.

“When I was employed, I didn’t ask anyone when the family needed something. I supplied for them. But now even when there is a funeral, I don’t attend the burial at the village because I don’t have the means. I just stay here with my children, all nine of us and see where God will lead us,” he said. If he had the resources and means, he would have a better Christmas like other people. His son chipped in that because of lack of finances, they haven’t planned whether to travel or remain in Windhoek.

Muraranganda, a skilled welder, plumber and bricklayer survives on odd jobs to provide for his family.   He is worried about ever securing a job at his age, which is advancing. Meriam is also unemployed and does occasional domestic work. “We want nice things but there is no means. And if you think about it too much, you might end up stealing people’s things, so I refrain from that, “she said, adding that she dresses her family with second hand clothes sold in the informal settlement. Any food from anywhere for Christmas will be a blessing. 

Selma Ikela
2018-12-19 09:42:17 5 months ago

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