Plight of 1976 Angolan immigrants remains unresolved

Tujoromajo Kasuto

The civil registration of immigrants who came to Namibia in 1976 shortly after Angola attained its independence remains unresolved after the it has been with the Cabinet for the past seven years.

This was revealed in a report by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security.

The report states that “these people have families and relatives on both sides of the two countries but still don’t have national documents as they do not meet the requirements.”

According to the committee the region requested that the government or Ministry concerned deal with matter in the same fashion it did with the OvaHerero descendants living in Botswana when they were issued with identification documents.

“The law or policy on requirements need to be relaxed to grant exemptions for this group as it is now evident that it has become difficult for these people to access the necessary services more especially during trying and difficult times,” the report stated.

The report recommends that priority be given to resolving the granting of citizenship to immigrants who arrived in the country in 1976 (45 years to date).

“Consideration should be made to either relax the requirements or adopt the strategy used to address the Herero’s who returned from Botswana,” the committee stated.

Additionally, the Ministry should endeavour to fill critical vacant positions existing in all its regional structures as matter of urgency to alleviate the heavy burden and pressure exerted on current staff manning the Regional Offices and Outposts.

This report comes after the standing committee executing its oversight duty, undertook inspection visits to capital projects being implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and

Security, and the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs in Oshikoto, Oshana and Kunene Regions from 31 May 2021 to 4 June 2021.

By Observer