Okakarara residents demonstrate over 'jobs for struggle kids'

09 May 2019 17:40pm
OKAKARARA, 09 MAY (NAMPA) – A group of nearly 200 Okakarara residents on Thursday staged a peaceful demonstration to oppose a plan to allocate 13 Government jobs at the Otjozondjupa Region Council to ‘children of the liberation struggle’.
The group accused Government of being unfair to allocate jobs to the children of the liberation struggle, bypassing all the stipulated labour laws on recruiting employees in the public sector.
The residents want Government to advertise the vacancies as usual, saying this will allow all Namibians who are unemployed to have an equal opportunity to secure these jobs.
A letter by the Otjozondjupa Regional Council dated 11 March 2019 and addressed to the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) made a request for clearance to fill several vacant positions at the institution.
On 22 March, the OPM replied to the request by approving some of the positions to be filled and disapproved the filling in of a position of the Deputy Director of Finance at the regional council.
Amongst those applied vacancies to be filled were 13 posts of cleaners, labourers and workhand to be filled at the regional council's head office and settlement offices at Okamatatapi, Coblenz, Okatjoruu and Tsumkwe.
In a response letter from the OPM signed by the Secretary to Cabinet, George Simataa, an instruction was also attached for the council to fill the posts of cleaners, labourers and workhand with the names listed of the selected children of the liberation struggle as well as their contact details; a directive that has left many residents displeased.
On Thursday, the group marched through the Chief John Tjikuua Street to the Okakarara Constituency Office, where they handed over a petition to the Special Advisor to the Otjozondjupa Regional Governor, John //Khamuseb.
In their petition, they are demanding that no children of liberation struggle should be appointed or sent to the Otjozondjupa Region for a purpose of filling a vacancy without going through the normal procedures as per the country’s labour laws on filling vacancies in Government.
“Our Government must advertise these positions so that everyone can apply, interviews conducted and the best candidates be appointed on the posts,” they said.
Spokesperson of the Otjozondjupa Regional Council, Cornelia Shikongo, at the same occasion said the council is aware of the demonstration and concerns of the Okakarara residents and that the matter will be discussed in a full council meeting on Friday.
Shikongo said so far, no appointment letters had been given to anyone to fill the positions in question as the issue requires a decision of the full council.
Okakarara Constituency Councillor, Vetaruhe Kandorozu, on his part said on 16 May 2019, he will travel to the capital with a delegation of 10 people comprising of war veterans, traditional leaders and young people who will hold a discussion with the OPM representatives on the matter.