Homeless and without an ID

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Tuulikki Abraham

Lüderitz-Muhamed Ben Wazir as he always calls himself is a male person whose age is estimated between 45 to 55. He has been living in Lüderitz for a very long time, and according to the Buchters, he has lived there for close to 30 years.

But until now this man has no national identity document and could die stateless.
According to Eliaser Kandume, the chief immigration officer in charge of the Home Affairs and Immigration office in Lüderitz, attempts have been made, and he even consulted the councillor of the constituency, in an attempt to have Wazir get an identity document.

“Our office in Lüderitz, together with the regional office, has made efforts for this person to get identification documents but could not succeed since his country of origin could not be established,” said Kandume.

Wazir roams the streets of Lüderitz without any accommodation. He sleeps outside the Roman Catholic Church in the coastal town, in the windy and cold weather. According to !Nami#nus Constituency Councillor Jan Scholtz, he has communicated the matter to the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration,  Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana.

According to Kandume, when asked about how far the ministry has got with the issuing of Wazir’s identification document, he said the matter was referred to the office of the deputy director for the southern region in the department of immigration and border control, Patrick Ntupi.  

The public relations officer in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, Sakeus Kadhikwa, said the case of Wazir needs investigation, to ascertain where he comes from originally, and to get information if he registered before, and to take his fingerprints.

He said the investigation would also want to know whether councillors have registered him before in some programmes.

New Era interviewed Wazir to see if he knows where he was born, his family and when he had arrived in Lüderitz.
“I am a Namibian, I was born here in Lüderitz. I am originally Herero,” Wazir said to New Era.

It appears the home affairs ministry does not know what to do with him and for now there is no immediate solution to his plight. There is also concern that he will die a stateless person.

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