Khorixas youth 'tired'

Local youth say they are being sidelined, when it comes to the filling of government posts at the town.

05 February 2019 | Local News

Kunene regional governor Marius Sheya was “in the dark” yesterday about a demonstration by unemployed youth at Khorixas, who are against the appointment of struggle kids from outside the town in government posts.

The youth claim that 80% of public servants working in Khorixas are from outside the town.

Yesterday morning they marched through the streets clutching their CVs, while holding up placards demanding jobs.

According to their petition the protest was triggered by the appointment of a driver by the health ministry.

The youth also demanded that the new police station commander, a certain Inspector T. Ipinge, be removed and replaced with a local Khoekhoegowab-speaking police chief.

“When there are vacant positions, local people should be considered first for vacant positions at the ministry of health and social services, such as the one of the driver, as local people are also qualified and they know the area well,” protest organiser Marcelline Lambert said.

She said local youth are tired of being sidelined.

“We are surprised that not even one local was shortlisted for the position. There were many locals who applied; for example, Howard Groenewaldt, Rodney /Narib and Gino /Nanub, as well as many others. We are concerned that locals are sidelined and that those who are from outside are preferred,” the petition reads.

When Namibian Sun called Sheya at around 10:00 he had no idea that this march was going on, and still remained in the dark about the protest two hours later.

“I have not received any petition or anything, so I am still in the dark. I think it is best if you to call the people on the ground in Khorixas, maybe the councillor,” he said.

Lambert handed over their petition addressed to the council, the governor and Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila to constituency councillor Elias Xoagub.

“I will hand it over to the governor; these questions were directly for him. I have already channelled this to him. On Wednesday I will meet with him,” said Xoagub.

By 15:00 Sheya still insisted he did not receive the petition. “I cannot comment on something I have not yet received.”

The protestors demanded to be given the same treatment as so-called struggle kids and at the same demanded an explanation on how one qualifies to be a “struggle kid”.

“Our parents also suffered during the apartheid era, so why only give privilege to a certain youth. We demand that all Namibian youth be treated equally, because poverty and unemployment affects us all,” the petition said further.

The youth also demanded that interpreters be available at all government offices in Khorixas, in order to remove the language barrier for Khoekhoegowab-speaking elders.

“We demand an investigation into the appointment of Inspector T. Ipinge by the ministry of safety and security. Are the senior police officers who serve at Khorixas police station not worthy enough to be promoted, while they have served at the town for many years? We want a Khoekhoegowab-speaking police chief,” the petition read.

At the same time, the youth demanded that the ministry of education explain why Khoekhoegowab-speaking principals are not appointed at the town's schools.

“Is there a lack of Khoekhoegowab-speaking principals who can be appointed to schools in Khorixas? We demand such principals to be appointed to schools in Khorixas and in the surrounding areas, especially where Khoekhoegowab is the medium of instruction.”

Khorixas CEO Andreas /Howoseb confirmed that the unemployment rate is quite high in Khorixas.

Ministry of health executive director Ben Nangombe could not be reached for comment.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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