TSES - Landless People’s Movement (KPL) leader Bernardus Swartbooi says government is to blame for the confrontation that erupted at Tses village last week, where the community opposed the recruitment of a ‘struggle kid’ as a cleaner at a local school.
Swartbooi, former governor of //Kharas Region before he was discarded by Swapo, said government was to blame for not handling the struggle kids issue as a national issue and with the urgency it needed.
This comes after the Tses community, 80 kilometres north of Keetmanshoop, locked the gates of Nowak Primary School out of frustration that a struggle kid was hired as a cleaner at the expense of locals.
Swartbooi says the community members’ frustration was understandable, saying things would not have gotten to this stage if government had handled the issue with due diligence.
He said government has failed to address the issue for the last 28 years, saying they have forgotten about the struggle kids because people in higher positions started enjoying with their families only.
The injustice to the struggle kids is now affecting other communities, saying people should not expect communities with unemployed youth to keep quiet when available job opportunities are taken away by others.
“I am told that there were three others brought in before and this is the fourth one, now what do you also expect local communities to do? If you had at least taken three from local community and one struggle kid then maybe people would be fine, but now all positions you want to impose and impose, until when? And when people speak you are the first one to say do not disturb peace, do not be a tribalist, but this is a result of tribalist policies of 28 years,” he said.
He added that he had long warned during his days in the Swapo Party Youth League, where he served as secretary for information and mobilisation, that if not addressed with urgency, the issue of struggle kids will one day blow in the government’s face.
Government has been reluctant to address the issue, he charged, and now it is affecting other communities as they are resisting the directives of employing struggle kids at the expense of all other Namibians.
Swartbooi further said government prolonged dealing with the struggle kids issue, and therefore government must be held responsible for what is happening, saying it was only about time before Namibians started to question whether the struggle kids, who are mostly Oshiwambo-speaking, were the only ones born in exile and thus be the only ones to benefit from job opportunities.
“Instead of opportunities being created for everyone, some people may now blame this community for tribalism, but it is not tribalism, when you do not get anything, you will also not want someone to come and take what could have been your opportunity,” he said.
While he called for unity, Swartbooi was quick to say that unity can only be achieved if all Namibians benefit equally from the country’s resources, saying government cannot impose peace and unity on people while the distribution of resources is skewed.
He urge the residents not to get into any tribal fights, conflicts or confrontations of any kind, but emphasised that a united Namibia requires leadership to understand the plight of local people first, warning that discriminatory policies may cause civil unrest.
“You cannot impose unity on people without creating a true sense of unity by giving people equal treatment in the allocation of resources and distribution of opportunities, communities are resisting now, and may actually lead to ethnic wars, it may lead to what they themselves call civil war, it is not the land issue, it is their discriminatory policies, and their irresponsible conduct in managing the economy that will cause this,” he said.
Swartbooi also paid a visit to the struggle kids at Tses before the community meeting.
2018-11-05 09:17:11 9 months ago