Windhoek — The Namibian Exile Kids Association (Neka) has given government an ultimatum - either to pay attention to their demands within seven days or face a "national strike".
Neka chairperson Benitha Nakaambo said they are demanding that government keeps its promise of giving jobs to the "unemployed children of the liberation struggle".
The association is also unhappy with how the Ministry of Veterans Affairs and the current Swapo leadership are treating them.
'We demand that children who were born in Namibia and went into exile during the struggle receive their token of appreciation, which is N$50 000 and N$200 000 for income-generating projects,' Nakaambo said on Friday.
Neka is also demanding that the children of deceased veterans be compensated on behalf of their parents' contribution to the liberation struggle.
"We demand that dead veterans' children benefit from the Ministry of Veterans Affairs like the children of the living veterans," said Nakaambo.
"Neka is concerned and disappointed that the children of the liberation struggle are being treated like animals because of the genuine concerns they have with the Swapo government. Children of the liberation struggle were beaten and humiliated in the same cowardly attack [manner] like the one [used in the apartheid forces' attack on] Cassinga [refugee camp]," clarified Nakaambo.
Nakaambo took a swipe at the Namibian police accusing the force of brutality and violating human rights during the fracas with the 'struggle kids' two weeks ago in Windhoek. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to dispense the crowd of children who were marching to the Prime Minister's Office. Police arrested a number of the demonstrators keeping them in jail until the early morning hours the next day.
"When we approached the police to ask why the liberation children were arrested, nobody could give us an explanation," said Nakaambo.
The Neka spokesperson said the police refused those arrested and locked up at the Katutura police station, some of whom are expectant mothers, and some with babies, permission to be allowed visitors. Neka members tried to take the women food such as milk but was allegedly denied access to the women.
"The police station commander Ismael Basson would not allow us to give Oshikandela to the babies in the cells, his response to our request was: 'Not today, try tomorrow maybe.' Some people brought food to their relatives who are on ARVs but they were not allowed to give food as the police officer refused them permission," Nakaambo alleges. Attempts to get comment from the Katutura Police Station Commander Ismael Basson proved futile.