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PM responds to anti-struggle kids demos

2018-11-21  Matheus Hamutenya

PM responds to anti-struggle kids demos

KEETMANSHOOP – Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has explained the difficulties endured historically by ‘struggle kids’ for whom government has designed targeted programmes to help them integrate into the Namibian society.
Responding to a recent petition by demonstrators in the //Kharas Region who are opposed to cleaners jobs being reserved for a section of struggle kids, the PM explained that this group was born in foreign countries during Namibia’s liberation war in which many of their parents perished. Consequently, many grew up without any family support and after they were repatriated to Namibia after the war, many were without care and family support.

It was against that background, the PM told demonstrators, that mechanisms were put in place to help them fully integrate into society.

She said the programme of the Children of the Liberation Struggle (CLS) is not meant to exclude other youths but an effort to ensure that this group too has a bite at the employment cake.

She was responding to a petition from unemployed youth from Keetmanshoop, who recently marched to //Kharas governor Lucia Basson’s office to hand over a petition calling for the removal of struggle kids placed as cleaners at various schools and offices in the region.

“The CLS programme is not meant to give preferential treatment to the children of liberation struggle at the expense of other youth in Namibia, but is meant to and will be implemented in an inclusive manner taking into account the need to ensure equal opportunity in the public service of Namibia,” she said.

She noted that with the view of providing a comprehensive solution regarding the CLS, Cabinet in July 2016 adopted a program for the integration of struggle kids, which included providing them with training and assisting them to get employed.

The programme is being implemented with due consideration to national diversity and also to take cognisance of the principle of equity and inclusion, the PM explained.

“It is thus important to emphasise that employment opportunities are not only provided to the children of liberation struggle, but consideration is also made to all other Namibians irrespective of ethnic or regional origin, language or creed, in line with the Public Service Act of 1995 as well as the constitution of the republic of Namibia,” she stated.
She furthermore said that government was well aware that unemployment among Namibian youth is real and measures are being put in place to address youth unemployment across the country.

The initiative to help the struggle kids is but one of the many ways government aims to solve the unemployment problem in the country, she said, noting that government will continue to embark on multi-faceted approaches to address this problem.

She assured Namibians that government is committed to inclusivity in all its development endeavours and all programmes will be implemented in an inclusive spirit, so as not to exclude some people.

“All opportunities are and will be shared equitably amongst all Namibians and not reserved for the children of the liberation struggle, and I therefore call on our communities to embrace this initiative,” she said.
The Keetmanshoop protesters were back at the governor’s office this week to express their dissatisfaction over the PM’s response and, although they did not want to see the governor, they indicated that they will continue to demonstrate to show their discontent.


2018-11-21  Matheus Hamutenya

Tags: Khomas
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