MP calls for government to address plight of marginalised communities

Stefanus Nashama

Tangeni Iijambo, a Member of Parliament (MP) from the South West Africa National Union (SWANU), has implored the Namibian government to prioritize the issues faced by all marginalized communities through the Policy on National Reconciliation.

He highlighted the need to address the concerns of the San, Ovatue, struggle kids, among others.

Speaking on the Motion of Policy on National Reconciliation in the National Assembly last week, Iijambo remarked: “Namibia’s vast wealth and resources starkly contrast the intense deprivation many face, further exacerbated by the systemic corruption benefiting the ruling elites and foreign partners.”

He proposed that the government initiate a program or designate a budget to mitigate the suffering, and improve the dire living conditions experienced by marginalized communities due to their historical loyalties and affiliations.

“I call on the government to not just engage with these communities, but also to adopt measures that reinstate their human dignity,” Iijambo said while stressing the importance of these communities reclaiming their rightful positions in the Namibian society.

Addressing fellow MPs, he said, “Members from these marginalized communities sit amongst us in this assembly. Is the government’s commitment to peace, stability, and inclusivity genuine, or is it merely perpetuating division, animosity, and discontent?”

Iijambo challenged the prevailing notion of reconciliation extended to marginalized groups, advocating for efforts that go beyond mere Affirmative Action.

“We must ask ourselves: who, exactly, has reconciled with whom in Namibia?” he asked

He stressed the necessity for any policy on national reconciliation to recognize and prioritize these marginalized groups.

Drawing attention to the numerous other marginalized groups, Iijambo cited the Njaanai communities, the former farm workers displaced to Oshivelo and various corridors, and those residing in makeshift corrugated iron shelters. He also highlighted the burden on citizens who are still paying inflated prices for homes commissioned under the Odendaal plan in urban centers.

“Among the marginalized are many non-Swapo Namibian freedom fighters, notably those who spent prolonged periods in exile across the globe,” Iijambo added.

H also stressed that it is the government’s responsibility to make amends with its citizens, just as it had with representatives of apartheid.

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