Opposition Exploiting the Dead – PM

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek DTA of Namibia President, Katuutire Kaura, yesterday tabled a motion in parliament for government to provide transport and coffins to members of the San community. Kaura requested Parliament to implement his request with immediate effect as many members of the San community are buried in plastic bags. Kaura claimed that this is happening and has occurred in the areas of Otjituuo, Okamatapati and Otjinene. “It is shameful and despicable to see fellow Namibians being buried in plastic bags 16 years after independence.” The parliamentarian said the San people usually live in semi-urban areas where they are squatting. “If one of their members passes away in a hospital in Gobabis, they lack the transport to have the remains transferred back to Otjinene or any other place, and after a month or two the remains are given to inmates to be interred at towns such as Grootfontein or Gobabis.” He added that the members of the San that are either employed on farms or in communal areas are in a better position, as at least employers take over the responsibility of providing transport and coffins. “I consider that the direct social responsibility of government to take care of these unfortunate and to provide transport as well as coffins.” Congress of Democrats (CoD) MP Tsudao Gurirab supported the motion and said the measure of civilization of any society is how it takes care of its weaker members of society. “The request is straightforward and simple and thus this motion must be supported.” However, Prime Minister Nahas Angula had a different view and claimed that Kaura was just trying to exploit the dead for political points. He accused Kaura of not taking good care of his San workers on his farm. “The workers on the farm of Kaura and others are poorly paid, poorly fed and with no medical aid or other benefits.” The Premier said Kaura was being a hypocrite and should rather be looking at improving the lives of the San people than to give them a decent funeral. “We should take care of them and not wait until they are dead.” He said government has taken the initiative especially through the office of the deputy prime minister to address the plight of the San and will continue to address the problem. “I think Kaura has run out of ideas and is using the plight of these people for political gain.” Minister of Safety and Security, Peter Tsheehama, accused Kaura of breaking into the office of the prime minister and stealing the motion. The statement by Tsheehama was greeted by questions from the floor about: “Who stole Nyamu’s notes?” The debate on the motion continued until late yesterday afternoon.