UPDATE: Struggle kids camping at Zoo Park

23 Jan 2017 17:10pm
WINDHOEK, 23 JAN (NAMPA) – Around 200 ‘struggle kids’ who camped in Windhoek’s Zoo Park on Sunday want to know why they have to undergo civic training if they are unsure of whether they will be employed.
These ‘children of the liberation struggle’ gathered at the park in the capital’s central business district as from Sunday afternoon, demanding an explanation for why they have to undergo civic training instead of getting employment from government.
The civic training is one of three programmes offered by the National Youth Service and includes improving discipline among trainees; inculcating a sense of patriotism and developing them into individuals with good physical and mental endurance, exemplary moral and ethical character, and integrity.
The first two months focus on civic training and the remaining four focus on vocational training.
The group’s leader, Tuhafeni Ghinda, told the media Monday the government keeps sending them for civic training, which “does not make sense”.
“Most of us here are older than 25 so where do they want to take us with their civic training if Namibian Police Force (NamPol) and Namibian Defense Force only take in people below the age of 25,” said Ghinda.
Ghinda said they are not against Government, “but they are forcing us to do things that we did not ask them for”.
However, NamPol Spokesperson Immanuel Lazarus said NamPol's age requirements fluctuate yearly.
“Is not fixed that NamPol only recruits people below the age of 25; age limits fluctuate depending on the category of recruits being taken for that year,” explained Lazarus.
On Monday, the struggle kids, some of whom had abandoned the training, handed over their third petition to Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa, demanding answers regarding their request for employment. Last year the group handed over two petitions asking government for jobs.
Instead, Government sent 251 struggle kids to the Simon Mutumba Police Training Centre in the Zambezi Region in October last year to undergo training for a period of six months. It was the second group to go for training in addition to 260 trained at Berg Aukas in the Otjozondjupa Region.
While waiting for the response from Simataa, the group plans to camp at the Swapo headquarters in Katutura. They said they will not return to the Ndilimani farm at Brakwater, to which they were relocated to in December 2015, until they get the answer they want.
“There is no food at the farm, we have nothing to eat, so we have decided to remain in Windhoek to beg for food from the public,” he said.
The group plans to occupy Parliament Gardens next Monday if they do not receive a response by then.
Simataa told the group leaders he will respond to them by Monday.