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Namibian Children Of The Liberation Struggle Confront Ruling Party
4/17/2013 11:37:39 AM

'Struggle Kids'

(GIN) Over 200 self-described 'children of the liberation struggle' found themselves taken to jail this week when they refused to give up a small piece of land where they were squatting to protest the failure of the government to help them find jobs.

The youngsters had been occupying two plots of land belonging to the Windhoek City Council and directly in front of the headquarters of the ruling Swapo party. A contingent of police officers assisted by the City Police ordered the squatters to pack their belongings before they were loaded into police trucks to be charged for trespassing at the police stationhouse.

"These kids have no manners. When we were registering them, they were giving us false names such as 'my name is Kwanza Zul," said police spokesperson, Inspector Kauna Shikwambi. "They claim they don't have national documents, maybe they hid them. But we want to handle the situation amicably since it is a trespassing case and there is no need to use maximum force," she said.

In a quiet rebuke, Dr Andrew Niikondo, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs and Research at the Polytechnic of Namibia, defended the youth, calling them 'struggle kids' born to combatants who helped liberate the country.

Niikondo, himself a former fighter with the People's Liberation Army of Namibia, recalled that combatants often left their children in camps to be taken care of by people who were not their relatives while the adults went to the front.

At independence, some children were repatriated to Namibia without their parents, because, "some of these children's parents died during the struggle."

Minister of Veteran Affairs, Dr Nickey Iyambo, replied: "I have sympathy for those children. But my sympathy equally extends to other children of this country, who were born inside Namibia."

Niikondo insisted: "Government should accept that the struggle kids were born in abnormal situations and cannot be compared to the children who were born here".

Mpinge Nakale, a squatter, asked:"Why do elected leaders not come to us and give us an audience, especially from the ministry of youth? Some of them were not even in exile, now they are telling us to go back home? People think this demonstration is not serious. We are more united than ever and we will not surrender."

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