As Namibia marks 33 years of independence on Tuesday, Activists have vowed to hit the streets in protest against rising unemployment in spite of a police prohibition.
Namibia’s Inspector General of Police Joseph Shikongo on Monday asked the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) to choose an alternative day for its demonstrations.
Shikongo said holding protests on Independence Day “may cause feelings of hostility”.
However, the NEFF activists said they will go on with their demonstrations adding that the government was undermining their rights by determining when to protest.
NEFF activist Michael Amushelelo called on all unemployed youth to join the nationwide demonstrations, explaining that unemployment in the country was now a national crisis.
Amushelelo is in court, seeking an urgent court interdiction to allow them to demonstrate. Amushelelo said Namibia would celebrate 33 years of “high unemployment, high poverty, corrupt governance, looting and mismanagement of the country”, local media reported.
President Hage Geingob recently dismissed calls by some MPs to declare youth unemployment a national disaster, but agreed it was a “serious problem” that could push young people to terrorism for survival.
To address the issue of unemployment in Namibia, President Geingob announced that the government would create approximately 3,000 new positions in the police, prisons, and army.
In response to social media backlash, the Namibian government abandoned plans to serve additional dishes, such as Greek salad, to VIPs during the Independence Day festivities. Official celebrations commemorating 33 years of independence are taking place in Outapi, located in the northern region of Omusati.
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