Health defends jobs for Struggle Kids

‘Go ask Nghimtina’

28 January 2020 | Regering
Unhappy youth should engage the minister of labour, industrial relations and employment creation, Erkki Nghimtina, about jobs given to the Children of the Liberation Struggle.

This was the advice of the director of health and social services, Thomas Shapumba, when he met with the youth of Khorixas on Thursday to clarify the appointment of six Struggle Kids as cleaners at state health facilities in the region.

Four were appointed at the Outjo State Hospital, one at Khorixas State Hospital and another at a clinic at Erwee settlement. The appointments were made between December last year and 20 January as per cabinet directive, Shapumba said.

The decision has angered the youth due to the high unemployment rate in Kunene region.

According to the latest figures of the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), Kunene has an overall unemployment figure of 41.6%, the second highest in the country.

The region’s youth unemployment figure stands at 53%, also the second highest in Namibia. According to the NSA, more than 12 700 young people between 15 and 34 years were stranded without a job last year, of which more than 6 600 were women.

During the meeting, Shapumba informed the youth to engage Nghimtina to address the issue of youth unemployment in the region.

‘Following directives’

“It was not my decision. I am just here to follow directives and there is nothing much I can do about it. This was the instruction from people that are above me. I understand that the unemployment rate in the region is high and that youths are frustrated,” he said.

Youth activist Julien /Uises after the meeting said the group is not satisfied with the answers they received from Shapumba.

“He has not responded to any of our questions at all. All he said is that he was just following rules. What act in the constitution of Namibia stipulates that struggle kids just have to be employed without undergoing interviews,” she asked.

An unemployed youth at the meeting, Redney /Howoseb, said that ministries do not notice unemployed youths in the region whenever there are employment opportunities.

“We are only visible when it is time for elections. 'One Namibia, One Nation' is losing its meaning. We do not feel like we are in a democratic Namibia,” he said.

Howoseb added that the cabinet should also be aware of non-struggle kids that have undergone vocational training and are still struggling to secure jobs even as cleaners.

About 60 unemployed youths at Khorixas attended the meeting.

This follows a similar meeting held at Outjo on Tuesday after those residents petitioned the permanent job placements of nine Struggle Kids as cleaners and labourers at Outjo State Hospital, the ministry of agriculture, water and forestry’s division of veterinary services and the Outjo Primary School. - Nampa

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