Prime News Ghana

Namibia braces for protests on independence day

By Vincent Ashitey
Activists say unemployment now a national crisis (file photo)
Activists say unemployment now a national crisis (file photo)
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Namibian activists have vowed to go on with protests against unemployment despite a police ban, as the country marks 33 years of independence on Tuesday.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Shikongo on Monday directed the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) to choose another day to protest.

Mr Shikongo said holding protests on independence day "may cause feelings of hostility".

NEFF activists have, however, said they will go on with their demonstrations and accused the government of undermining their rights by deciding when to protest.

NEFF activist Michael Amushelelo has called on unemployed youth to join the nationwide protest. He said unemployment in the country was now a national crisis.

He said Namibia would celebrate 33 years of "high unemployment, high poverty, corrupt governance, looting and mismanagement of the country", local media reported.

Last week, President Hage Geingob dismissed calls by some MPs to declare youth unemployment a national crisis, but agreed it was a "serious problem" that could push young people to terrorism for survival.

President Geingob said the government planned to create close to 3,000 new jobs in the police, prisons and in the army, in an attempt to address the unemployment issue.

The Namibian government last week shelved plans to serve extra dishes like Greek salad to VIPs during the independence day celebrations, following criticism on social media.

Official events to mark 33 years of independence are being held in Outapi, the capital of the northern region of Omusati.