Govt must deliver on “silly” promises to struggle kids

16 Jan 2016 16:50pm
By Kaipaherue Kandjii
WINDHOEK, 16 JAN (NAMPA) – Some residents in the Brakwater area north of Windhoek fear for their lives after a few members of the “children of the liberation struggle” attacked several locals on Thursday.
Their fear is rooted in threats by the “struggle kids” who said: “If the police do not guard this place (Brakwater) and those white people (residents), we will rape and kill them and we will also beat you (NamPol)”.
“We cannot be held ransom and blackmailed by 450 people because of silly promises that the government made to them (struggle kids). They must do what they promised; now I cannot even go home because of this chaos (road blockage),” said one of the residents who spoke to Nampa on condition of anonymity Thursday.
He said this shortly after a scuffle between struggle kids, a plot owner and members of the Brakwater Neighbourhood Watch Group on Thursday afternoon.
The “silly promises” he was referring to relates to the promises of jobs the government and Swapo Party made to the struggle kids in December last year. The group of about 400 youth were on that premise moved to the Brakwater area from the Swapo head office in the capital, where they had been camping since October last year, demanding jobs.
The fracas on Thursday started after a female struggle kid was allegedly bumped by a vehicle driven by one of the local plot owners. Unverified reports have it that the owner caught some struggle kids with firewood illegally harvested from his land. A fight erupted and shots were fired.
Several people were injured among them some struggle kids, the plot owner, his son and members of the neighbourhood watch group.
In the meantime, struggle kids' Spokesperson, Hailonga Petrus told this agency shortly after the incident that they “appear to be living in colonialism under white supremacy”.
“Our parents died for this country, and we have to suffer like this as if we are not Namibians. We do not even want to stay at the camp anymore but we will go back there to that place (Brakwater) and we know what we will do, we will do something tomorrow (Friday),” said Petrus.
True to their words, the struggle kids blocked a road in the Brakwater area on Friday morning, prompting the police to deploy its Special Reserve Force to the area. The police used teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the struggle kids after one of the officers was threatened by a struggle kid.
Deputy Inspector General of NamPol, Major-General James Tjivikua on Friday said the situation is under control, and assured the residents in Brakwater that NamPol will deploy a 24-hour monitoring operation and provide the presence of the Special Reserve Force at the area.
Tjivikua said the ongoing feud between the two parties is a matter of “life and death” and investigations have started. The police are busy getting statements and counter statements from both groups.
He said no arrests have yet been made but cases that are likely to be opened against either party are attempted murder; intend to do grievous body harm, and trespassing.
On Saturday morning, the situation was calm at that area.
Brakwater is a settlement 20 km north of Windhoek in the Khomas Region. It consists of a large area of plots of at least 1 hectare each and is used for residential and business purposes.