It is time for the government to free itself from the emotional stranglehold exerted by the group calling themselves Children of the Liberation Struggle. The country is being strangled by COVID-19. It is also facing drought recovery challenges and overall economic disaster. There is alarming unemployment levels (and rising), a horrific housing crisis, and the soon-to-arrive IMF. The government must forgive its original poor handling of this crisis years ago, add up what has been done well, declare victory, and move on.
This is a country of 2.5 million people. The needs of 300 citizens calling themselves children of the liberation movement cannot trump the desperate needs of the many. It is a time of unprecedented national crisis with no end in sight. There is deep, penetrating fear – this is a perfect prescription for political unrest. There is no room for any prima donna in the midst of this state of emergency.
In effect, these so-called Children of the Liberation Struggle are shamelessly standing on the heads of hundreds of thousands in dire need. They are demanding MORE government resources only for themselves. These people are pushing their way to the front of the government feeding line, shoving aside the old, sick, babies, or anyone else in their way. It is unseemly. Government must stop entertaining this.
The particular group demanding their unearned dividends from the government are from a group of 1500 who underwent training. Of this number, 1200 were given jobs. That is an amazing percentage when Namibia faces over 40 percent youth unemployment. Tens of thousands of graduates and degree/certificate holders are sitting at home or underemployed. These 1200 jumped the queue and received jobs. It is a miracle that those pushed back in the job line aren’t in the streets in protest.
This crisis with struggle kids has been going on for years. They have had training programs that many young people around Namibia would die to have. They’ve been clothed, fed and housed at state expense indefinitely (regardless of the challenges of such living conditions). And yet, they are demanding seconds on their bowl of soup while most people haven’t even had their first serving.
The government made this mess by telling them the struggle kids that they have a divine right to be given jobs above others. They must rescind that promise; it was always unsustainable and inherently unjust. The conditions under which the promise was made have changed significantly. Namibia is on the cusp of collapse and must move very, very carefully. These self-centred young people must be cut loose.
For years, these selfish citizens have insulted government and its officials. They have been excessively arrogant and belligerent. Groups of them have terrorized communities near their camps, and preyed on each other within those camps. They even attack and berate their own representatives.
As a solution: Let the Swapo Party cut the cost of their new N$750 million headquarters. Redirect those funds to hire these 300 struggle kids to do whatever jobs they can create. The struggle kid pity party must end.
Experts predict that the unemployment rate could rise to 50 percent. Many disadvantaged Namibians have a story to tell, not just those demanding special treatment.
Government: The people of Namibia hereby free you from any promises made to anyone calling themselves Children of the Liberation Struggle.
You have done all that a good parent could do. You have provided for many of these ‘children’ granting resources and life chances they otherwise would not have received. The original mistake made by Home Affairs so many years ago in not providing the real struggle kids their national papers when their parents died in exile, fighting for independence, must continue to be rectified. But, you have apologized for that error already.
You have pushed other citizens aside to hire from this group. Several of them blew the jobs they were given with bad work ethic, poor attitudes, and waste/theft on the job. And yet, you gave them second and third chances; you’ve been more than fair.
You have weathered their insults, violent marches, and ingratitude. You have harmed others for whom you are responsible, to provide specifically for this group. You cannot be all things to all people. It is time to cut the guilt strings these so called Children of the Liberation Movement are pulling.
You are forgiven. You have our permission to move on.