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‘Struggle kids’ fight back on job accusations

2018-11-14  Matheus Hamutenya

‘Struggle kids’ fight back on job accusations
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KEETMANSHOOP - The Namibia Exile Kids Association (NEKA) has come out guns blazing in defence of government’s deliberate decision to appoint several ‘struggle kids’ to various positions across the country, amidst demonstrations by some communities against the practice.

NEKA president Benitha Nakaambo dismissed what she labelled as efforts to create an impression that ‘struggle kids’ are taking jobs that they did not deserve, at the expense of other youths.
She said there were tribal undertones to the suggestions, and that the media has blown things out of proportion when reporting on the matter.

Referring to recent reports on the placement of the ‘struggle kids’ as cleaners around the country, and in the //Kharas and Hardap regions in particular where some residents held peaceful demonstrations in protest of that, Nakaambo said while it is true that the education ministry has reserved 143 cleaner positions for the children of the liberation struggle in all 14 regions, if put into perspective this is a small number.

“This is okay if you think about it carefully, because it simply means that government has reserved 10 positions in each region and looking at the number of schools and educational institutions in all regions, it will give you the true reflection of what is happening,” she said, adding that this was a cabinet decision.

Nakaambo hit out at reports by The Namibian newspaper, accusing the daily of painting a picture that the whole country was up in arms over the placement of the ‘struggle kids’.

She said this could put at risk NEKA’s members deployed in those regions, whose safety could be compromised.
On Monday, about 100 protesters marched to the //Kharas regional governor Lucia Basson’s office to demonstrate against the placement of ‘struggle kids’ in mainly cleaners’ positions in the region.

Marinda Boois, who read out the petition, indicated that the Keetmanshoop community is dismayed at the appointment of the ‘struggle kids’ at the expense of the local unemployed youth.

She likened government’s policies to those of the past colonial regimes, saying the basis of employment seems to be ethnic, and that the residents will continue to fight such discriminatory policies, including by demanding the removal of the recruited ‘struggle kids’ with immediate effect.

“We demand that the decision to recruit the ‘struggle kids’ be withdrawn, we demand that the locals be duly considered for the vacancies, we demand that the cabinet resolution be reversed with immediate effect, we demand that all struggle kids employed in Keetmanshoop and within //Kharas vacate office before 19 November,” she said.

She further said the indigenous community in the region has suffered exploitation, enslavement and genocides for centuries and as such the community has inherited generational poverty.

She added that despite the region’s abundant natural resources, residents remain impoverished and excluded, as the resources only benefit the ruling elite.

 “We are dismayed by the fact that local unemployed young people are excluded from employment opportunities while ‘struggle kids’ receive preferential treatment,” she said.
Governor Basson received the petition with assurance that she will immediately forward it to the offices of the president and prime minister.

2018-11-14  Matheus Hamutenya

Tags: Khomas
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