A family of eleven Ovatue people in Eenawa village at Ruacana in Omusati Region are among many marginalised Namibians struggling to get national documents such as IDs and birth certificates.
But last week Sakaria Shambulambali, 74, the head of the family, managed to get a birth certificate and ID after an official from the Office of the Vice-President approached the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration in Outapi.
The Division of San Development under the Office of the Vice-President’s main objective is to ensure the marginalised San, Ovatue and Ovatjimba communities are integrated into Namibian society and that they receive requisite benefits.
However, the lack of national documents among these communities has resulted in many of them being deprived of social and disability grants, including the monthly pension paid to elderly citizens.
Born in 1941 at Omupanda village in Onesi in Omusati Region, Shambulambali has not received a pension.
The Office of the Vice-President through its Omusati regional office had worked hard to ensure the old man received his national documents.
His acquisition of an ID will help his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren also receive their national documents.
Speaking to New Era an official from the Office of the Vice-President in Omusati Region said the investigation of nationality within the marginalised communities takes long. But they suffer this regardless of the urging by President Hage Geingob that “no one should be left out”.
Investigations into the old man’s plight started in February 2015 but it was only last week that he recived the goods news.
The official alleged that delays are caused by some individuals in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration who at times disregard directives from the Office of the Vice-President.
Apparently some of these officials are rude towards members of marginalised communities trying to acquire national documents.