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Checkout time for the “Kids”

22 January 2016

It is past time for the SWAPO Party leadership and the relevant government authorities to put down their foot, ‘man-up’ and finalize this unending saga around these so-called ‘Struggle Kids.’ 

What is wrong with our usually bold leaders in the Land of the Brave who aren’t prepared to bare their teeth and put the entire issue to rest? 

These people residing on the Ndilimani plot in Brakwater are expecting something that simply does not exist:  most of them want something for nothing for the rest of their lives. 

This must not be allowed to go on endlessly. 

How someone below 25 can claim to be a ‘struggle kid’ is beyond us.  What is this now, the struggle grandkids?  Struggle nieces and nephews?  The entire thing has become a farce, but a dangerous one that threatens the peace and safety of all of us. 

Worse, it does a huge disservice to the heroes and legacy of the real struggle for justice.  People suffered, were tortured and died to free this country and this group at Brakwater is busy making claims against accounts they did not bank.  That account is now overdrawn. 

The earlier rendition of struggle kids from 3-5 years ago who legitimately complained about not having identity documents, being blocked and mistreated at Home Affairs, and who could produce verifiable names, dates, places and various tangible documents attesting to their plight and their just complaints and claims, had merit and we supported them. 

Jobs, training programmes, financial assistance, legal and regulatory assistance and other mechanisms were correctly made available and it took time.  We understood that. 

But, now, these young people squatting at Brakwater are indeed a mixed bag of aggrieved citizens, but they are NOT ‘struggle kids’ and we all need to stop calling them that.  

Those who qualify under the government’s criteria for consideration for the programmes in place to handle legitimate claims of children born in exile or whose parents were killed during the independence war were registered.  Most of that original group received assistance already.  GRN needs to get that list out and compare it with the names of those camping in Brakwater.  Those who are not on that list, need to be evicted from Ndilimani’s property.

We submit that those who are in Brakwater fall into various categories.  We think there are those who feel that they have nowhere else to go and fear losing the little food, water and shelter SWAPO is giving them for free.  There are those who have already been given jobs, training, and other freebees, but blew their opportunities by getting fired from or quitting the jobs and failing the training programmes.

We think several are those who heard of a friend who ‘got something for free’ and are hanging around to see what they can get too.  And finally, on a darker level, we believe there are pure thugs and hooligans in the mix. These people aren’t struggling for anything except a chance for mayhem and booty. 

More forbidding is that there are young children in that camp and the social environment is unstable. One woman living in the camp, interviewed after the melee last week in Brakwater, said she felt intimidated by the ‘men’ also living there who advocate violent, aggressive actions, while most of the women want to handle things calmly.

Brakwater residents have a potential tornado on their doorsteps.  Right now the fight is over firewood.  Tomorrow the fight will be over something much more serious.  If people cannot feel safe in their own homes, then what are we doing as a country?

Some at the camp reported that the SWAPO Secretary General promised them that they will be ‘provided for’ in the new budget.  If this is the case, then it is unfortunate.  Pandering to pipe dreams is very dangerous, particularly when the situation is volatile like this one.  A starving man must never be promised bread that will not be delivered for years, if at all. 

Disperse the group and provide free transport for those wishing to leave.  Then, contact those ‘struggle kids’ who are registered properly AFTER funds and programmes are in place to assist them and let’s move on.


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