'Struggle Kid' shot dead by Police in Windhoek

27 Aug 2014 14:10pm

WINDHOEK, 27 AUG (NAMPA) ? A female member of the group ?Children of the Liberation Struggle? was shot dead by Police in the streets of the capital Wednesday morning, allegedly after a scuffle with the authorities over the group?s right to march to the Swapo Party headquarters. The 26-year-old woman, a mother of three minor children, died on the spot. She was allegedly shot and killed during a scuffle that apparently erupted between the ?struggle kids? and members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) on Leonard Auala and Hans-Dietrich Genscher streets, just a few metres from the Swapo Party headquarters in Katutura. The deceased was part of a group of about 120 youths, widely known as the ?struggle kids? who had decided to march to the ruling party?s headquarters on Wednesday, despite warnings from the police that no such march would be allowed. The struggle kids marched irrespective, and this led to the confrontation with the Police, resulting in a shooting and the subsequent killing of one of the group members. The body of the deceased young woman was later taken to Police Mortuary, and her identity will only be released once the Police have informed her next-of-kin. Windhoek Police Crime Investigation Coordinator, Commissioner Sylvanus Nghishidimbwa and Senior Superintendent of Windhoek City Police and Emergency Management Department Gerry Shikesho, who were both at the scene, refused to provide the media with details of the shooting incident. ?I cannot give any information to media practitioners at the moment,? said Nghishidimbwa. Jesaya Keendjele, one the 'struggle kids' interviewed by reporters at the scene, said their planned march to the ruling party?s headquarters was meant to be a peaceful event, and they are unable to understand why the Police opened fire on them. ?We (struggle kids) always march to the Swapo Party head offices on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. We?ve been doing this every week. Our march was not violent today. However, there was a scuffle between the police and some of our members. Some of the struggle kids threw stones at the police, and all of a sudden we heard gunshots. The result is that one of our comrades was shot and killed,? explained Keendjele. This particular group of the ?Children of the Liberation Struggle? has been roaming the capital and engaging in marches and demonstrations since 2013, demanding preferential treatment in the allocation of job opportunities within the government structures. However, the ruling party leadership has often been quoted arguing that all Namibian youths need jobs and other opportunities in the wake of the high unemployment rate, drought, high standards of living, and abject poverty affecting the majority of the citizenry. The Children of the Liberation Struggle have put up makeshift dwelling and are currently residing in the bushes along Hereford Street, on the northern periphery of the capital. The camp now has about 300 illegal tents. (NAMPA) SKE/JK