A protest meant to express the youth’s dissatisfaction in unemployment ended in the detaining of member of parliament Inna Hengari and activists Michael Amushelelo and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma on Tuesday.
This comes after the High Court dismissed an urgent application for the protest to go ahead. Police Inspector Joseph Shikongo notified the public this week that a national youth unemployment protest is impossible on a public holiday.
The activists argued that they did not feel like celebrating Independence Day, as, according to them, over 1.2 million Namibians are unemployed and over 1.6 million people are living in poverty, “yet millions are being wasted on a one-day event whilst they have a national crisis of unemployment.
Nauyoma argued that the situation has regressed to the point that over 50% of youth are unemployed in the country.
“An army of unemployed young and middle aged people who are unable to find jobs in the country yet there are resources in the country that are being looted daily.”
“Some of them entered the parliament gates with nothing and today they can accumulate more they can fund for,” he said.
He further added that the institution of state targets those that put pressure on the system and not the people that are with the system.
The protest follows after President Hage Geingob during the state of the nation address last week stated that he is worried about declaring an emergency on youth unemployment.
Statistics show that youth unemployment in Namibia stands at 33.4% and in 2021 it was estimated to reach 50.30% that year.
Hengaari who widely advocated for it called the president to declare a state of Emergency in his 2023 SONA
In July last year, the national assembly agreed to a motion on youth unemployment with the deputy speaker Loide Kasingo having referred the motion to the parliamentary standing committee to conduct nationwide consultations with young people and civil society organisations.
Meanwhile, member of the parliament Inna Hengari says that youth thought the fruit of independence would be jobs and without the fruit of this country would not be poverty but prosperity.
“As young people in this country we would have access to free quality education 33 years after independence none of us can say we have any of those things,” she said.