…Swapo government will take care of its own
A Child of the Liberation Struggle, also known as the ‘Struggle Kids’ has been wheel-chaired into a position of Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry with the vacancy not being advertised.
This comes at a time when government also gave top priority for 15 struggle kids to be employed at the farm of Russian land baron Rashid Sardarov, near the Dordabis area.
This development is said to have ruffled feathers within the ministry with officials feeling the program should come to an end and all Namibians should compete for jobs on an equal footing.
This apppointment, the ministry confirmed to The Patriot has absorbed ‘struggle kids’ as part of an ongoing placement process that has already seen 1093 struggle kids employed since 2015 benefiting at the call of the Office of the Prime Minister.
The position vacant since early this year was filled by Theopolina Tuyeni in August. Personnel from the ministry say the placements, which are based on political affiliations and prefers those in the corridors of power were becoming unfair for the rest of the citizens who have to go through normal processes just to get a job.
“It is really unfair that we have thousands of unemployed graduates, yet some are getting jobs that are not even advertised and do not even have to go through an interview. We are all in the same hustle here, otherwise government must explain its’ true intentions to cater for all its citizens,” said Phillip Johannes, an unemployed graduate since 2016.
A source within the ministry also questioned the process, saying government is sending out bad signals to the rest of the citizens with preferential treatment of the struggle kids.
“How do you explain this to Namibian voters who do not have struggle credentials but depend on the leaders they elect to make their lives easier?
What about other Namibians who are not from Swapo? In fact, the struggle kids are a Swapo problem and the political party should absorb them based on their political affiliations. They should go and work for Kalahari Holdings and Energy FM. This thing is just bad and does not sit well with the tone that ‘no one must feel left out’ which the President speaks of,” said the source who preferred anonymity.
The ministry’s Permanent Secretary Percy Misika did not want to say much, except stating that they (ministry) only acted on orders from the Office of the Prime Minister, and referred this publication to that office.
When put to I-Ben Nashandi, the Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister, he retorted that questions for government to defend the placement program are long overdue as the process has started a few years ago.
“The program, which is dedicated only for the children of the liberation struggle started in 2015 and we cannot at this stage say for how long it will go on. We have a master list and when funds are available, we take them for training at Berg Aukas and then we deploy them subject to the availability of vacancies,” said Nashandi.
Asked why the post was not advertised to allow all Namibians, including the struggle kids to compete for the position, Nashandi said: “Why do you advertise when you have a target group?”
“This is a Swapo government and it is simply taking care of one of its problems. Who do you expect to help these kids if not the Swapo government? The government has a responsibility to every citizen including the Struggle Kids, so why are people restless on this issue?” queried Nashandi.
Currently, Namibia has 67 000 unemployed graduates hoping to get a job in their field of study. However, sentiments are that many have lost hope applying for advertised jobs as the process places political preference of some citizens above the qualifications of others.