We just want to talk… Unemployed Keetmans youth seek audience with PM
KEETMANSHOOP – About 60 unemployed youth who have erected a tent in front of the //Kharas regional governor’s office on Friday vowed to remain where they are until they see the Prime Minister Saraa Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
According to the group, who identified themselves as the ‘Discontent Keetmanshoop Unemployed Youth’ at a press briefing on Friday, they need clarity from government about issues of concern to them.
In a statement read by one of its members, Joseph Isaacks, the group urged the PM to avail herself to listen to their plight.
“We too are citizens of this country and every one of us is eligible and entitled to the job opportunities that are available. Our situation and circumstances vary and all our circumstances are detrimental and need the attention of the government,” he said.
On November 12 the group held a peaceful demonstration against the appointment of ‘struggle kids’ in government jobs at the southern town and handed a petition to //Kharas Governor Lucia Basson.
In their petition, the group demanded that the decision to recruit the ‘struggle kids’ be withdrawn and that locals be duly considered for those vacancies.
They also demanded that the cabinet resolution on appointments be reversed with immediate effect and that all ‘struggle kids’ employed in Keetmanshoop and within the //Kharas Region vacate those positions before November 19, 2018.
Last week Kuugongelwa-Amadhila responded to the group’s petition by explaining the difficulties endured historically by ‘struggle kids’ for whom government has designed targeted programmes to help them integrate into the Namibian society.
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 is an effort to ensure that this group too has a bite at the employment cake.
Hitting back, the group claimed that none of their demands was met, after which they decided to protest and camp in front of the governor’s office until their demands are met.
Isaacks said the PM told them about the plight of the ‘struggle kids’ and that the government has to attend to them, and informed them of programmes that government has rolled out and initiated with private partners and urged them to make use of those.
“It appears that the PM was not interested in our demands and only replied on what she thinks we need. Our demands are still applicable and explicit that we, the unemployed youth of the region, should first be considered before others are employed,” Isaacks said.
He further said that they have had enough of having to endure exploitation at the hands of their own elected government and that ‘struggle kids’ are preferred beyond their circumstances.
“We regard the resolution of the cabinet as superimposition and disregard of their own political structure. We want reversal of this uncalled [for] decision and demand [our] immediate appointment. We need jobs. We need employment. We need equal treatment and we condemn preferential treatment,” he added.
• Additional reporting by New Era
2018-11-26 09:04:06 7 months ago