President of the Popular Democratic Movement, McHenry Venaani, plans to table a Private Persons Bill aimed at addressing the "unfair discrimination" of minorities in Namibia.

Venaani, at a media conference, expressed what he termed concerns regarding the continuous neglect and failure of Namibia's current policies to protect the rights of minority groups.

"A key challenge in the pursuit of inclusion and social and economic justice for the Sān is marrying modern frameworks for development to the unique way of life of a people whose norms, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour represent the oldest surviving culture. The pursuit of equity and inclusion for the Sān is a fight against time: the bigger the cultural gap grows between modern Namibia and the oldest surviving culture, the more time passes without tangible and impactful solutions to the threats facing the Sān the greater the task of creating just solutions for these fellow Namibians."

Venaani also expressed concern about the plight of the |Khomanin Traditional Authority, which has been raising the issue of being landless in their region.

"One striking example of this failure is the plight of the |Khomanin Traditional Authority. Despite being recognised as a traditional authority, they are denied even the most basic of resources, with no office or communal land allocated to them. It is disheartening to learn that the farm provided by a German farmer to accommodate about 26 |Khomanin people is now home to over 1000 inhabitants, highlighting the destitute conditions these people are forced to endure. Moreover, many of the members of the |Khomanin are often forced to brave the natural elements as they are left stranded and forced to call the corridors of Windhoek home. It is perhaps more concerning when one analyses the picture holistically. Reports indicate that 68% of marginalised communities live in poverty, and 77% face unemployment. These figures are not normal by any measure."

As the leader of the Official Opposition, says Venaani, there is a need for targeted social assistance, improved educational opportunities, and community-based development programmes as crucial steps to empower the livelihoods of the marginalised.

He is calling for policy intervention that is grounded in an understanding of the cultures, traditions, and aspirations of the marginalised.




Emil Xamro Seibeb