The Police Chief, Lieutenant General Joseph Shikongo, has denied a request by the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) to stage a nationwide protest against high unemployment in the country on Independence Day tomorrow.

NEFF Commissar Michael Amushelelo says the aim of the protest is to put pressure on lawmakers to act with urgency and address the growing number of unemployed people in the country.

Amushelelo's call for a nationwide protest was triggered by recent events when a Windhoek restaurant advertised six vacancies and an estimated number of over 2,400 hopeful applicants showed up.

But the police chief has a different view.

Lieutenant General Shikongo responded to Amushelelo, saying that he has taken into account the date for the planned protest, which coincides with Namibia's Independence Day.

NamPol's Inspector General says he also took aspects of national security into consideration, further informing Amushelelo that a protest held on that day may cause friction between different sections of the population.

He also mentioned that those taking part may interfere with others going about their normal business.

During a recent media conference, Amushelelo stated the planned mass protest is not intended to disrespect those observing independence celebrations.

However, he added that urgent intervention is needed to address the unemployment issue.

He stood firm, saying the protest would proceed with or without permission from NamPol.

Last year, over 40,000 people countrywide applied to be recruited into the Namibian Defense Force. However, the intake limit was only for 1,500 recruits.

The Namibian Correctional Service shortlisted over 15,000 candidates for 200 positions.

It had initially received over 33,000 applications.

During the State of the Nation Address, President Hage Geingob announced that the Namibia Correctional Services has commenced with another recruitment of 300 new intakes, while the Police will recruit an additional 1,000 intakes in 2023.

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Emil Xamro Seibeb