WINDHOEK, 26 MAR – About 30 student nurses who marched to the Ministry of Health and Social Services with the intent to hand over a petition to the health minister on Monday, failed to deliver the protest note.
The student nurses from the University of Namibia (UNAM); International University of Management and Welwitschia University marched from Pasteur Street to the ministry’s offices in Windhoek West to protest the freezing of nursing vacancies in October last year.
The ministry at the time said it will not be able to employ final-year nursing students due to the freezing of positions.
The student nurses are all set to graduate in April and September this year.
The group did not hand over the petition as planned to minister Bernard Haufiku, as he was not available. They then refused to hand it over to Deputy Minister Juliet Kavetuna, who was present at the time.
One of the nurses, Karl Nghishitelwa said they informed the minister prior to the demonstration and he was aware that they would be handing over the petition to him.
He said they expected Haufiku to at least inform the group of his absence and that his deputy would receive the petition on his behalf.
“We refused to give our petition to the deputy minister because she was not aware of the demonstration and did not know what it was about,” noted Nghishitelwa.
Kavetuna confirmed to Nampa that she was unaware of the demonstration that was taking place, saying she just met with the group out of courtesy.
She further said she could not comment on vacancies that have been frozen as the ministry is not responsible for employing people and that this is the duty of the Public Service Commission.
Kavetuna added that the group is yet to graduate from their studies.
She returned to her office and after two hours of waiting for the minister, the group was escorted off the premises by the Namibian Police Force.