‘Struggle Kids’ Clash With Police

POLICE on Monday were forced to escort more than 30 ‘struggle children’ from the Swapo Party head office, following alleged threats of violence.

The group, that has been camped in the veld near Monte Christo fuel station for the past two years in protest that their many demands have not been met, said they marched to the Swapo Party head office at 08h00 in remembrance of their parents who died during the struggle, since it was the eve of Heroes Day. They said they meant no harm to the party or anyone. “This is not the first time we ‘struggle kids’ have marched to the Swapo offices. We come here three times a week but this morning, they (police) would not allow us past the gates and they even blocked the entrance,” said Simeon Niingwendja.

Chanting liberation slogans and waving a huge Swapo flag with placards bearing different political messages, Niingwendja and his peers refused to move from the gate, despite heavy police presence. “We will not move an inch from here. Our parents died for this land. If we must be slain like our parents before us, then so be it,” said another ‘struggle kid’, who gave his name as General Jesaya.

The group also dared President Hifikepunye Pohamba and Prime Minister Hage Geingob to spend a night or two in the slums among the poor like DTA president McHenry Venaani did a few weeks ago, saying political leaders will never understand their plight unless they experience it first hand.

“Pohamba and Geingob should come and experience how it feels like to sleep in the dust. They should join us at Monte Christo. We have no food or water,” said Aina Kamati. The group also threatened unspecified action to ruin the upcoming Swapo election campaign.

“As long as we are camping in the veld at Monte Christo, there will be no Swapo campaign,” said Titus Iita.

Some of the group members rolled about and lay in the dust, as a way of demonstrating their suffering, as police officers escorted them to a healthy distance from the Swapo headquarters.

Detective Jackson Kamwangha, who was in charge of the evacuation, said they were called to intervene after the group showed up at the Swapo offices, carrying wooden canes and waving them in the air. “This was a clear threat of violence and our job is to maintain order. The group was also supposed to have informed us of their intentions to march three days prior, but they did not do this. They need to comply with the laws in place,” he said.

The group was forcefully removed by police after refusing to voluntarily move from the ruling party’s offices. No arrests were made.

Source : The Namibian