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Namibia: Cabinet Challenged Over Struggle Kids Jobs

Summary

The ombudsman and the Khorixas Constituency Youth Forum want an interdict that would set aside and terminate a Cabinet decision that directed that certain jobs be reserved for children of the liberation struggle and for them to be employed without goin…

The ombudsman and the Khorixas Constituency Youth Forum want an interdict that would set aside and terminate a Cabinet decision that directed that certain jobs be reserved for children of the liberation struggle and for them to be employed without going through the recruitment process as required by law.

In an affidavit, Ombudsman John Walters said children of the liberation struggle do not fit the criteria of affirmative action which may be applied to racially disadvantaged persons, women and person with disabilities and nor do they meet the conditions set out within the Veterans Act.

"The fact that the reserved jobs within the public service are not subject to advertisement and are therefore specially set-aside only for the children of the liberation struggle - the result of the decision is that other qualifying Namibian citizens are denied the opportunity to compete for those vacant posts," said Walters.

According to Walters, the Office of the Ombudsman investigated after it received numerous complaints from previously disadvantaged Namibian citizens.

The findings of that investigation according to Walters indicate that all Namibian qualifying persons who seek employment in entry-level positions within the public service and are not children of the liberation struggle would not be given an opportunity to compete for those positions.

There is a separate recruitment and appointment process for the children of the liberation struggle.

The investigation also revealed that Secretary to Cabinet George Simataa would reserve vacancies for the children of the liberation struggle and such posts will not be advertised.

Simataa would allegedly then submit the names of those to be appointed for the vacant positions.

"The names of the children of the liberation struggle to be appointed are simply forwarded without any disclosure as to how those names are arrived at and the process followed in arriving at the list of names selected for appointment," noted Walters.

Further stating that there is no transparency in the recruitment process despite public funds would be utilised to remunerate the recruits.

The Cabinet secretariat, which stated its intent to oppose the application was dealt a major blow yesterday when their application for condonation was dismissed by Judge Thomas Masuku.

Cabinet applied for condonation for the court to show leniency after they failed to file their opposition within the prescribed time.

According to Masuku, the Cabinet failed to file their papers timeously as required and they also failed to indicate if their application has any prospect of success.

Masuku cautioned the lawyers from government attorneys who are representing Cabinet to put their house in order, as it is not the first time that he had to head a warning to them.

The court postponed the matter to 11 March for a status report before they can set a date for a hearing.

Local lawyer Tinashe Chibwana is representing the ombudsman and Khorixas Constituency Youth Forum, while Freddy Kadhila from government attorneys is representing Cabinet.

Source: New Era