UK insensitive to plight of asylum seekers – Venaani – The Namibian

POPULAR Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani says the British government is insensitive to the plight of Namibians seeking asylum in their country.

This comes after the United Kingdom (UK) said they would deport all Namibians who breached their immigration laws.

“Who wants to leave a beautiful country such as Namibia? There must be reasons attached to it. The statuses of these people must be reviewed. You cannot just decide point-blank that people are not oppressed,” Venaani says.

He responded to the sentiments of British high commissioner to Namibia Charles Moore on Twitter on Saturday.

Moore tweeted: “Namibia is a safe, democratic country, with no state persecution of anyone.”

Moore said more than 90% of Namibians seeking asylum in the UK in recent months have been rejected, while 1 200 applications are yet to be assessed.

The planned voluntary or forceful deportation is under discussion between the UK and Namibian governments.

Venaani yesterday addressed the media, saying humanity must prevail in matters of immigration.

The lack of rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI+) community and the country’s sodomy law have been used as reasons for seeking asylum.

Venaani said generalising this issue is insensitive.

“There are no laws supporting gay people in this country. Even the high commissioner knows there are no laws.

“If people say we are not protected, let’s look at the humanitarian part of it, because nobody wants to live in a foreign country without a reason,” he said.

Venaani said those who are seeking asylum are doing so because the situation at home is challenging.

Moore in September last year said Namibian asylum seekers were abusing the UK’s system.

“They don’t need a visa to go to the UK, so they turn up in the UK and then claim asylum, because then we have to let them in. It is being abused by a number of people,” he said at the time.


Venaani further said if the demands of the ‘struggle kids’ for government recognition continue to be ignored, they could potentially become a security risk when enticed by terrorist organisations.

He said ‘struggle kids’ consider their pleas so important that they risk the security of the country by blocking the ministry of defence’s headquarters.

“If these people (terrorist organisations) hear there are people who are blocking the nerve centre of the country, and that country has voted against their organisation, they will release a million dollars tomorrow and there are bombs,” Venaani said.

He said the government is always arguing that there are no resources or that the ‘struggle kids’ are fighting on the wrong side as a reason to continue ignoring their demands.

Making reference to the conflict in Mozambique’s northern Cabo Delgado province, Venaani said impoverished young people are used in terrorist activities.

The conflict started just a few years after some of Africa’s biggest gas reserves were discovered in Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin off the coast.

A study by the Institute for Security Studies and the Judicial Training Institute of Mozambique shows that citizens blame the discovery and bad governance of resources, notably natural gas and rubies, for the escalation of terrorism in the province.

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