No place to call home

A group of 25 have made an abandoned and dilapidated government house their home with some living there for longer than they can remember.

19 June 2017 | Local News

On an abandoned government property in Robert Mugabe Avenue, some 25 homeless have made their home, babies and children in tow. The house is run-down and has suffered severe fire damage and there is running water, but no toilets or electricity.

Cynthia Goagus, 27, a long-time resident, shares her small space and mattress with her six-month-old baby. She told Namibian Sun she is tired of living on the streets.

Goagus, who was preparing herself for church on Sunday morning, said she lived a normal life before her mother died in 2004.

“Life was good before my mother died. I had everything I needed but my life changed in a few seconds after she passed away,” said Goagus. She said she continued to stay at her mother's house with her aunt but they used to argue a lot. She said she was forced to leave. “After my mother died, my aunt and I used to argue about a lot of things, one day I just had enough and I just opted to go to the streets. My aunt then sold my mother's house so there was no place for me to go back to,” she said.

She says she fends for her baby by begging for money on the streets or by doing house work for people who employ her on an ad hoc basis. “I struggle a lot, but I am not ashamed because I have a baby at home I need to feed him. I beg in front of shops for money and sometimes I clean houses so I can make money to feed my baby,” shared Goagus.

She admits the place is not ideal or safe but she has no place to go. “It is not really a safe place, but I stay here because there is no other place for me.”

It gets very cold at night and people sometimes fight here but I have nowhere to go,” shared Goagus.

The father of the baby, who said his name is Foudenu Fudario says although it was Father's Day there was nothing for him to celebrate. “My heart bleeds. I bleed for my son because I am not happy. There is nothing to be happy about here. We've been complaining for years and years and our complaints fall on deaf ears. The government only gives help to the struggle kids but we also are struggle kids and we need help as well,” he said. He added he has been on the streets for 27 years and has since lived from one place to another. “Independence found me here on the streets. I voted for our government but I haven't seen change. I lived under the bridge and I was moved from there. Everywhere I go I've been moved. The government has wronged us,” said Fudario.

Goagus adds she is constantly in fear of being thrown out of the house they now call home. “We are not really sure how long we are going to stay here until the City Police officials throw us out. You don't sleep comfortably because you are worried about what is going to happen next,” said Goagus.

The mother says she does not ask for much from the government but just a place she can call her own and for any Good Samaritan who can give her a job so she can take care of her baby. “The government should provide us with a piece of land where we can stay since they always move us from the places we stay. And I plead to anyone out there to give me a job so I can take care of my baby,” implored Goagus.

The City Police is aware of the squatters and on Friday evening during the Copps radio show on Kosmos 94.1, discovered the two babies in the house. Superintendent Kolokwe, from the City Police, confirmed that she would attend to the matter today with officials from the gender ministry. “We need to get those babies to safety,” she said.


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