31 January 2013

Namibia: 'Struggle Children' March On to Windhoek

ATTEMPTS were made this week to block the 'children of the liberation struggle' from the Omusati Region from reaching Windhoek.

One of the spokespersons of the group, Matilde Ndahafa Amutenya, told The Namibian that on Tuesday in Otjiwarongo they were summoned by the governor of the Otjozondjupa Region, Samuel Nuuyoma, who tried to persuade them not to proceed to Windhoek.

He wanted them to stay at the town to wait for officials from the Office of the Prime Minister to address them about their unemployment problem. He also told them that it was better to stay in Otjiwarongo than in Windhoek, because in the city they would suffer of hunger and thirst.

Governor Nuuyoma confirmed to The Namibian yesterday afternoon that he had tried to persuade the group not to enter Windhoek because of the living conditions there.

He, however, denied that he told them to stay in Otjiwarongo. Instead, he said, he tried to convince them that the Otjozondjupa Regional Council could provide them with transport back to their homes in the Omusati Region.

He said it was better for the group to stay at home and wait for the government to address their grievances instead of living in harsh conditions in Windhoek.

"I know the Ndilimani camp where they say they are going to stay and wait for jobs. There is no space for all of them, and they will just suffer while there. I was not against them going to Windhoek, never ever. I am just sorry for them, because they will suffer of hunger and thirst while in Windhoek. They are our children. We have to take care of them," Nuuyoma said.

By yesterday morning the group had reached Okahandja

Amutenya said they were to overnight in Okahandja before taking on the last 60 kilometres to Windhoek early today. That will complete a distance of 742km from Outapi to Windhoek.

Amutenya said they had heard reports that the police would be waiting for them at Brakwater to block them from entering Windhoek.

"We are not going to surrender ourselves to those who don't want us to reach Windhoek. We have already walked a long distance from Outapi to Okahandja where we are now and we are more determined to reach Windhoek and to be addressed by Prime Minister Hage Geingob. We are his guests from the Omusati Region. We want jobs from government and we will fight for that with determination," Amutenya said.

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