Nguvauva Thankful As Gam, Eiseb Residents Get IDs (allAfrica.com)

The Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, Kilus Nguvauva, has commended the government’s pace and determination in issuing national identity documents (IDs) to residents of Gam and Eiseb Block.

Namibian returnees from Botswana who were in 1993 resettled in Eiseb Block and Gam in the Omaheke and Otjozondjupa regions, respectively, have been complaining of not having IDs.

Between 1904 and 1908 thousands of Ovaherero, Ovambanderu and Nama fled Namibia to Botswana to escape the slaughter of the German colonial troops, who were acting on an extermination order of their commander Lothar von Trotha.

This week, the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, and her delegation travelled to Gam and Eiseb to issue Namibians with IDs.

Not having an ID meant they could not apply for work and university admission, and most could not even open bank accounts due to the mere fact that they did not have IDs to prove their legal status in the country.

Nguvauva, who raised the issue last year, yesterday commended the National Council Vice-Chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams for her support in the matter.

“I urge residents of Gam and Eiseb to use this opportunity to acquire documents,” said Nguvauva who is also the chief of the Ovambanderu.

Speaking to New Era last year, Rijandjee Kandjou, 21, said he came to Namibia in 1994 with his parents but did not have an ID, and this prevented him from being employed or gaining university admission.

“I am an illegal immigrant in this country because I don’t have any documents to prove that I am Namibian, which has denied me my constitutional right to education, among other opportunities,” he said at the time.

He said every time he went to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, he was always turned away. He alleged some officials even told him to “go back to Botswana where you came from”.

He said he did not have any memories of Botswana after arriving in Namibia at the age of three months.

“All a wish now is to get an ID so that I can carry on with my life,” he said last year.

At the time, Raandekua Njuva, 25, said he had tried to get an ID for the past four years but was unsuccessful.

He was aged three when he arrived in Namibia in the 1990s.

It was estimated that there were about 3 000 returnees from Botswana who did not have Namibian national documents.