The number of migrants worries the leaders of Omaheke

Julia Kamarenga

Omaheke Security Cluster officials embark on an operation to verify and profile migrants living and working in the Omaheke region.

The operation is due to be carried out from June 6 to 24, 2022. It comes after a series of complaints, ranging from petty crimes such as stealing cattle to support themselves, to human trafficking, were received in the region in recent weeks.

Otjinene Regional Councilor Erwin Katjizeu said the migrants settled in Ozohambo under poor living conditions as a group comprising nearly 20 people are living together in a shack.

He further recounted that his office had reported cases where girls as young as 15 were brought from Angola and sold to villagers for N$500.

He has taken various steps to seek a hearing from the relevant offices, but Katjizeu said that so far no concrete decision has been taken.

In a related incident, nearly 4,000 Angolans fleeing unemployment, drought and hunger had camped in Etunda in the Omusati region since the start of 2021. They were repatriated after 11 months, but were only back in Namibia only a few weeks later, claiming they were starving. . This time the migrants spread further south to Omaheke.

Namibian officials do not know how many have returned as they entered the country through undeclared entry points. Many migrants also settle in villages and farms, where they are employed as servants and agricultural workers.

The councilor further complained that the migrants have organized themselves and equipped themselves with spears and arrows, which they use to kill stolen livestock for their own consumption as well as to sell to locals.

At a recent meeting, the Deputy Commissioner for Operations of the Namibian Police, Jackson Kamwanga, called on leaders to discourage evils such as regionalism and tribalism, but to preach peace and unity to the community so May she live in harmony.

He also urged people not to take the law into their own hands but to check whether the person is indeed a Namibian and then notify the relevant authorities to take action.

Kamwanga then called on traditional and religious leaders as well as employers to also take responsibility for ensuring that the people in question are vetted.

2022-06-15 Staff reporter


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