‘Struggle kids’ turn against leader

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Our hands are clean… Jerry Hamukwaya the new leader representing the struggle kids camping at Ndilimani Cultural Troupe farm in Brakwater and some group members have distanced themselves from the attack on the bus driver. Photo: Selma Ikela

Windhoek

A group of ‘struggle kids’ under the new leadership of Jerry Hamukwaya have distanced themselves from former leader Martin Natangwe Negumbo, whom they accuse of being the instigator of recent violent acts committed by some members of the group camping at a Brakwater farm.

The latest in the spate of violence occurred on Sunday afternoon when unruly struggle kids attacked and injured a long-distance bus driver.

Hamukwaya, who represents the 336 struggle kids camping at Ndilimani Cultural Troupe farm in Brakwater, said Negumbo and the seven men arrested by the police for attacking the bus driver were responsible for dragging fellow group members’ names through the mud because of their unruly behaviour.

A group of men attacked a bus driver who sustained injuries to his head and suffered a broken left arm and right thumb after he was beaten with rods, stoned and kicked in an unprovoked mob attack.

Although Negumbo was not part of Sunday’s attack, it is alleged he has been responsible for the struggle kids’ recent unbecoming behaviour.

The group has informed Negumbo that they do not want to be led by him and that he should remove his belongings from the camp.
“All the bad things that happened earlier were commanded by him (Negumbo): the blocking of roads, burning of tyres and beating farmers were all instigated by Negumbo,” one of the group said yesterday.

“We distance ourselves from the attacks against the bus driver. We don’t have anything to do with that. Now some people are saying the struggle kids are unruly but it only involves certain individuals and we are trying to stop that,” said Hamukwaya.

Negumbo, who has been absent from the camp for about a month, was invited yesterday to collect his belongings in the presence of the police but allegedly hurled insults at fellow group members.

When Negumbo arrived yesterday he had a letter stating that the Swapo Party secretary general Nangolo Mbumba had also removed their group mediator Nikodemus Kamati.

Kamati denied he was removed as mediator but said he recused himself in light of the recent attack. Kamati said the group informed him long ago that they were not happy with Negumbo’s leadership.

“Negumbo is making the situation worse. We reported the case before. He is confusing the struggle kids,” remarked Kamati yesterday.
Hamukwaya said there is a still a group of unruly people in their midst whom they will chase out of the camp.

Negumbo denied instigating any member as he is hardly at the camp. He, however, accused Kamati of instigating the group and telling them to misbehave so that they can get jobs quickly.

“As former leader all the bad things will be blamed on me,” Negumbo said.

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