Geingob’s tangible response to ‘struggle kids’ crisis
We recognise with admiration the recent re-allocation of N$11,3 million from the Social Security Commission Development Fund (SSCDF), as a tangible and significant response to the seemingly never-ending protests of the so-called ‘struggle kids’.
Times are tough economically in Namibia right now, and yet available money has been deployed effectively and efficiently for a sorely needed purpose.
While we know this action is not a panacea for all who claim to be children of the liberation struggle, we applaud President Hage Geingob’s intervention in this matter, and salute the innovative approach to properly utilising the SSCDF, in exactly the way its mandate outlines.
One of the roles of the fund is to: “Conduct training and employment schemes approved by the President of the Republic of Namibia for the benefit of socio-economically disadvantaged persons who are unemployed.”
Those claiming to be struggle kids fit this description and the president, in recognising this, invoked his authority and took decisive, if not comprehensive action, and we applaud this.
Other leaders grappling with this issue have pleaded for those ‘kids’ to go home, herded them into camps and on buses, parked them in distant plots, ignored them and their small children, called the police to ‘handle them’, and gave platitude speeches that offered little or nothing, as the problem dragged on, and the nation’s tolerance for this group waned.
There is little public support for dishing out jobs to this violent and rowdy group with questionable links to the liberation struggle, regardless of their ability to do the work required, but a training and job readiness support package, which prepares those who qualify to compete for available positions and excel if they earn employment options, strikes a positive chord.
While we know that this offer of SSCDF support, to finance training programs specifically targeted at this group of ‘kids’, may open a Pandora’s Box of copycat protestors prepared to camp ad infinitum, until they get whatever they say they want, we choose to focus on the victory of providing something substantive and immediate, to viably address many of the complaints repeated by the group.
While tipping our hat to President Geingob’s N$11,3 million necessary intervention, we also recognise the honour granted to our First Lady, Monica Geingos, currently with the delegation in the United States, as she delivered a landmark speech in the American Senate, which outlined a valuable message about the possibility of a HIV-free generation.