The secretary-general of Swapo Party Nangolo Mbumba has urged struggle kids marching to Windhoek to return to their homes and await a government response.
Mbumba said that in as much as the Swapo office is a public office for all its members, it is not a place where camping is allowed. He was referring to the protesters possibly setting up camp at Swapo offices if they successfully reach Windhoek.
The struggle kids however ridiculed the secretary-general’s call saying they will not be discouraged until they have met with President Hage Geingob and Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
“If he really has a message for us, he should come to us and talk to us on the way and not issue statements. There is no proof that our concerns will be addressed,” said the group’s spokesperson Tuhafeni Nhinda.
Nhinda said the group is forging ahead and had already covered about 188km of their 700km long walk to Windhoek by yesterday afternoon.
Nhinda said the group was at Oshivelo by midday yesterday and planned to overnight in Tsumeb.
He added that three of their members had been transported to a Tsumeb hospital where they would need to be treated for blistered, swollen feet while a fourth member had gone for a routine high-blood pressure check-up.
They comprise of 73 people of whom 42 are females and 31 males, with the eldest being 39 and the youngest 27 years of age.
Nhinda said the group overnighted in Omuthiya on Tuesday after they began their marathon 700km walk from Oshakati.
He said the group was in Omuthiya by 16h00 on Tuesday and spent the night under a tree at the town.
“We slept under a tree, on empty stomachs but that did not deter us. A good Samaritan brought us bread today and fortunately we had breakfast,” said Nhinda.
According to Nhinda, a good Samaritan is also assisting them to transport their bedding, mattresses and luggage so that they do not have to carry the whole load.
He said the group is still appealing to the community driving along the road, heading in their direction, to transport them and offer them food.
“Not everyone can walk; we need assistance from time to time to transport us further but we want most of the distance to be covered by foot said,” said Nhinda.
The group is expected to meet other struggle kids from Rundu, in Tsumeb.
Meanwhile in a press statement Mbumba said a committee was established to officially welcome back four previously suspended youth members back into the party.
The four activists are Dr Elijah Ngurare the former secretary of the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL), Job Amupanda another former ranking SPYL member, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala, who were all booted from the party but had their membership reinstated through a court order.
The members of the welcoming committee are Namibian Vice-President Dr Nickey Iyambo, who is the chairperson of the committee, Justice Minister Albert Kawana, Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa and Swapo party member Rosalia Nghidinwa.
A meeting to welcome the former youth leaders will take place at the earliest convenience.