Five protestors from a group of children of the liberation struggle also known as “struggle kids” were arrested today at the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs, after the group blocked the ministry’s main entrance and prevented people from entering or exiting the building.
Acting Regional Commander Deputy Commissioner Chrispin Mubebo confirmed that five of the protestors have been detained.
“We had no choice but to arrest them. They were being reluctant and resistant after we humbly requested them to vacate the area as they were prohibiting people from entering and exiting the building. They will be taken to the police station and charged there accordingly,” he said.
A woman and four men were arrested. A minor child, who was present at the scene was also taken to the police station for safety.
The group protested in front of the main entrance of the Ministry, demanding jobs and that they be registered under the Defence Ministry. The group’s leader, John Amadhila said they will do anything they can to ensure that they are given first priority for employment opportunities at the ministry.
“We decided to come and lock the entrance of the building because they are not listening to our demands. We are only demanding that we are registered under the ministry so that we are able to get jobs but they want to overpower us because of status. We are now in the holding cells at the Windhoek Police station and are just waiting for them to charge us as we have not been charged yet. They even took my colleague’s child,” said Amadhila.
The group also consisted of breastfeeding mothers and fathers carrying crying toddlers.
Singing liberation songs, the frustrated “struggle kids” were ultimately dispersed by the Namibian Police and Special Reserve Force.
Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs, Frans Kapofi, said he is aware of the incident but was not around as he is out of the country on official duties.
“Unfortunately, I was not in the office when the entrance was blocked. I was just told that they chained the building and were asked to leave by the police. They were probably arrested because they were blocking people from entering into their offices. it’s not something very pleasant for someone to do and it was the responsibility of the law enforcement officials to act accordingly ” said Kapofi.
He added that the protestors have the right to express their views and demands as long as they are not being violent or breaking the law.