Katutura residents demand social grants they were promised

Stefanus Nashama

A determined group of unemployed residents hailing from the Tobias Hainyeko and other nearby constituencies embarked on a protest march yesterday, fervently calling upon the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Social Welfare to deliver on the promises made back in 2021.

This demonstration follows allegations that the Ministry, in 2021, registered numerous individuals in the Khomas region for social grants, pledging to provide them with a one-time payment of N$1,800 along with monthly disbursements of N$600.

As per the group’s understanding, these social grants were to be distributed for three consecutive years from the year of registration.

Escorted by the Namibian Police Force, Social Activist Michael Amushelelo led the procession from Katutura to the Ministry’s offices in town.

The protesters voiced their concerns, emphasizing that their information, including fingerprints and photographs, was collected at the time of registration to facilitate the disbursement of funds.

However, these promises have not been fulfilled, leaving them questioning where their personal information has ended up.

The group also expressed scepticism about the promised funds, fearing that even if the money is released for distribution, individuals within the system may exploit the situation for personal gain.

“Up to this day, we have been registered but have not received a single cent,” they proclaimed as they marched. In a heartfelt chant, they sang, “We did not sleep; we want our money!” In Oshiwambo, this translates to: “otwa lala ina tu kotha, otwa hala iimaliwa yetu.”

During the march, members of the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) from Walvis Bay also joined in solidarity.

“We have come to stand with you in this fight,” a NEFF member, Onesimus Ndengu, said.

Some of the elderly participants in the march appeared visibly exhausted upon completing the protest action.

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