18 May 2017

Namibia: Councillor Bemoans Appointment of 'Struggle Kids' in Omaheke

Windhoek — The Councillor for Otjinene Constituency Erwin Katjizeu has criticised the government's decision to recruit four 'struggle kids' in Omaheke last week, at the expense of residents of the region.

'Struggle kid' is a term used to describe Namibians born in exile during the country's struggle for independence.

New Era understands that the four youths were appointed to fill vacant positions as handymen and workhands in the regional council of Omaheke.

One is employed as a handyman at Epukiro, two as handymen in Gobabis and one as a workhand in Gobabis.

In the 'letter of concern' Katjizeu wrote to New Era this week, he nagged at the government's preferential treatment of struggle kids ahead of other citizens.

"We have young people in Omaheke that roam the streets everyday looking for employment, but jobs are given to struggle kids. That really hurts a lot and I feel for our unemployed youths," said the concerned councillor.

Katjizeu did not confirm where the four youths originated from.

Katjizeu argued that the struggle kids are in no way different from any other Namibian citizen and he consequently does not understand the preference in treatment the government shows.

"Namibia as a country is faced with a financial downturn which affects Omaheke as a region; therefore we are all hit by the recession and why is it that the struggle kids are given preferential treatment above others in the country, if we all are hit by the so-called temporary financial meltdown?" Katjizeu wanted to know.

The regional councillor further stressed that the region is struggling with a skills mismatch, which is a contributing factor to youth unemployment, thus the recruitment of struggle kids is adding to the problem.

"We as a region are already struggling due to not having enough VTCs (vocational training centes) in the region to cater for school-leaving youths, yet now comes another big challenge of jobs reserved for Namibia's struggle kids. How long should the youths from the region endure such unfairness for the benefit of the struggle kids' and don't we have struggle kids within Omaheke to be registered for such jobs?" wondered Katjizeu.

Efforts to get comment from the secretary to Cabinet George Simataa and the chief regional officer of Omaheke, Maria Vaendanaua, were unsuccessful as their phones went unanswered by the time of going to print.

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