Namibian Activists Plan Independence Day Protest

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Namibian activists have vowed to go on with protests against unemployment despite a police ban, as the country marks 33 years of independence.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Shikongo on Monday directed the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters, NEFF to choose another day to protest.

Mar Shikongo said holding protests on Independence Day “may cause feelings of hostility.”

However, the NEFF activists said they will go on with their demonstrations and accused the government of undermining their rights by deciding when to protest.

NEFF activist Michael Amushelelo has called on unemployed youth to join the nationwide protest.

He said unemployment in the country was now a national crisis and Namibia would celebrate 33 years of “high unemployment, high poverty, corrupt governance, looting and mismanagement of the country.”

Meanwhile, last week, President Hage Geingob dismissed calls by some MPs to declare youth unemployment a national crisis but agreed it was a “serious problem” that could push young people to terrorism for survival.

President Geingob said the government planned to create close to 3,000 new jobs in the police, prisons, and the army, in an attempt to address the unemployment issue.

Reports say the Namibian government last week shelved plans to serve extra dishes like Greek salad to VIPs during the Independence Day celebrations, following criticism on social media.

Official events to mark 33 years of independence are being held in Outapi, the capital of the northern region of Omusati.


BBC/Christopher Ojilere

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