Kuugongelwa-Amadhila on ‘struggle kids vs the people’

08 Nov 2018 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 08 NOV (NAMPA) – There is no government policy that says ‘struggle kids’ must be considered for employment opportunities ahead or to the detriment of other Namibians, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said.
Government’s position is that opportunities of employment must be shared equitably, she said in an interview with Nampa on Tuesday.
“There is no policy of the government saying when these opportunities come up, we are going to take these children from other regions and place them ahead of others,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila started.
Government also does not necessarily want to reserve posts that become available for ‘struggle kids’, but want to “integrate” them into the labour market.
“To integrate would mean we are not necessarily reserving opportunities that come up for employment, but we make a special effort to ensure that when these opportunities come up, we take from them,” she said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said it was unfortunate that employment opportunities do not come in bulk “so that you can have five vacancies and say two or one for the children of the liberation struggle and the other ones for others”.
Her remarks come at a time when communities across the country are up in arms because ‘struggle kids’ are employed at government institutions ahead of locals.
At Omitara, near Gobabis, residents staged a demonstration last week after government employed six ‘struggle kids’ at a newly-built school while about 80 per cent of the settlement’s residents are unemployed.
Similar demonstrations were held in Tses and Keetmanshoop in the //Kharas Region and Hardap’s capital, Mariental.
“We don’t believe adopting a policy that says every person can only be employed in the region where they come from, would be supportive of nation building,” she added.
The premier, however, was quick to point out that the government is not only equitable and inclusive, but must be seen as being equitable and inclusive by all Namibians.
Further, as part of the controversial deal that saw Russian billionaire, Rashid Sardarov secure a 99-year contract to lease four farms from the State, one of the ‘stringent conditions’ embedded in the transaction was that 15 ‘struggle kids’ be employed by Sardarov.
Asked if that clause is not tantamount to special treatment, the PM replied: “We are not expecting that only 15 jobs will be created under the venture that this investor is trying to put up, we expect many opportunities.”
When asked if ‘struggle kids’ would ever graduate from that status and be treated as other Namibians, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila replied: “There are no places reserved for them. Secondly, these youth are a limited number and we are expecting that as opportunities are coming up, we would be able to fully absorb them.”