If you were beaten last year by the cops, call me – Amushelelo

DEMO … A protest against unemploy- ment took place in Windhoek yesterday. Photo: Henry van Rooi

Activist Michael Amushelelo is calling on protestors assaulted by the police during a demonstration against youth unemployment on 21 March last year, to join him in suing the Namibian Police.

Amushelelo was speaking at an unemployment demonstration in Windhoek yesterday.

He said those who experienced police brutality during last year’s protest should come forward to be part of the lawsuit.

“If you were beaten last year, call me so that we may include you as we sue the police. We are busy suing them, if you were shot with a rubber bullet or suffered trauma as a result of running from the police,” he said.

Amushelelo said millions are spent on a one-day event, referencing the independence celebration, while there are still jobless and hungry people.

He said the veterans affairs ministry has a annual budget allocated to them and questioned why same can not be done for the unemployed.

He criticised the government’s allocation of funds, highlighting the inequality in budget allocation between different ministries.

Amushelelo said the state of unemployment and poverty in the country should be addressed and called on the relevant ministries to take action.

He called on the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare to eradicate poverty, the fisheries minister to give them fishing quotas and the president to declare a state of emergency over unemployment.

The demonstration yesterday was held under the theme: ‘We want money and work, not useless speeches’.

Amushelelo also accused leaders of misusing government funds.

“As long as we allow our leaders to misuse money, they will continue doing so,” he said.

No written petition was handed over yesterday, said Amushelelo.

However, he said another demonstration will be staged next Wednesday and they will write a notice to the police because they don’t want to be addressed by executive directors or deputy ministers but want ministers to be present.

He said unemployed people should deliver their CVs to the office of Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation to urge minister Utoni Nujoma to create jobs.

Amushelelo and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma are suing the Namibian Police and the prosecutor general for N$10 million through a damages claim filed at the Windhoek High Court on Tuesday.

Amushelelo was in police custody for almost seven months after his arrest during last year’s Independence Day protest.

He and Nauyoma were eventually found not guilty in October last year on all charges.

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