IPMÔÇÖs Tunae: Back on the streets

The Institute of Peoples Management Namibia (IPM) has asked their members, corporates in the public and private sector, to consider the option of giving Tunae Kandjou employment. However, according to the President of IPM, Tim Ekandjo, she has not been forthcoming and excited about the idea.

Tunae Kandjou, a 22-year old woman with disabilies who has a 2-year old daughter, makes a living off begging for small change at the intersections of Robert Mugabe and Jan Jonker Avenues near Maerua Mall in Windhoek.

Tunae was given N$30 000 by IPM Namibia in October last year to help her get off the streets, as well as to assist with her basic needs. According to the agreement, the total sponsorship amount is divided into 12 months, and it started in November 2014.

Tunae was recently seen begging at her usual spot, the traffic lights at the intersection of Robert Mugabe and Jan Jonker Avenues in Windhoek. This comes just a few months after the agreement she had with IPM Namibia.

In short, Tunae continues to receive a monthly allowance from IPM Namibia of N$2500 and IPM’s year long commitment will be reviewed when the agreement ceases. She, however, continues to go back to the intersection despite numerous attempts from the management of IPM Namibia talking to her.

“We have repeatedly spoken to her and her guardian and even cautioned that we will stop the monthly instalments if she continues going back, but we find her back there every now and again. We will not suspend the pledge just because of that,” said Ekandjo. Ekandjo believes that this rehabilitation process will take time.

“This is a big change in her life. She has been used to waking up every morning and going there, so to get her to stop immediately is also too much to ask. We will be patient with her,” said Ekandjo.

When The Villager approached Tunae for comment, she said that the reason as to why she goes back to the streets to beg is because IPM can take up to 3-4 months without giving her the promised N$2500 monthly allowance, and in that time, her 2-year old daughter doesn’t have any milk or diapers.

“On the 25th of every month, I can easily make up to N$ 3000 at Maerua Mall, and I bought myself a cow which has now multiplied to 3 and also a washing machine with the money that I have been getting off the street,” she said.

Her 43-year old brother, Abia Kandjou, stressed to The Villager that IPM Namibia should have helped her start up a small business instead which would have been more beneficial.

“Whenever we call Tim Ekandjo, he doesn’t answer his phone. That’s why Tunae goes to his office,” said Abia. According to the terms of the printed traffic regulations, it is against the law for a person to beg on a municipal area.

Chief of City Police, Abraham Kanime, said that they have noticed that Tunae is no longer at Maerua Mall, as she has now moved to Grove Mall.

“She has people that are using her because she is being dropped off by someone there. It’s against the law for her to beg on a municipal area and we always remove her whenever we see her, but she is always forceful and start fighting with officer. They should really refrain from doing that, because it is very unsafe for her as she is a disabled woman that is at a high risk of being bumped by a car or even get sexually abused,” said Kanime.

“Up to now we haven’t arrested any person, because the person is still unknown to us, but what we know is that someone is dropping her off,” stressed Kanime.

Tunae has thus far only received N$ 22 500 to date from the N$ 30 000 that was promised her by IPM Namibia.