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War veterans camp for more money

2022-05-05  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

War veterans camp for more money

Over 100 war veterans, who receive between N$2 500 to N$5 000 monthly, are setting up camp to force government to increase their allowance.

Namibia National Veteran Association president Ben Shikongo has called for an increase to an unspecified amount of war veterans’ monthly allowance.

Shikongo made the demand on Tuesday while petitioning defence minister Frans Kapofi at the Katutura Multi-Purpose Centre, where over 100 veterans are camped. 

He said they will move the camp to the defence ministry if their demands are not met. 

War veterans receive a monthly allowanceranging from N$2 500 to N$5 000, depending on their classification. 

They also qualify for project funding of up to N$200 000.

However, Shikongo said, “we are not happy with the decision made by the ministry to reduce the amount from N$200 000 to N$170 000, demanding that the deducted amount of N$30 000 would be sufficient to cover the payment for all veterans,” Shikongo said.

“We are strongly appealing to the ministry to provide the amendment act that allows for the reduction of veterans’ money from N$200 000 to N$170 000,” he added.

He said there are more than 12 000 veterans with outstanding projects, lamenting the government decided to allocate funds to only 276 during this financial year.

“Veterans are not pleased with the obvious number of 276 of the individual veteran’s projects that the ministry has decided to allocate funds to. When does the government plan to finish the over 12 000 veterans’ projects?” he asked.

“We have been patiently waiting for 32 years; [we] are ageing. Many of us have died without receiving our projects, leaving our children without any inheritance. Therefore, we are recommending that the projects from the deceased veterans should be inherited by family members,” he said.   

Kapofi announced in the National Assembly two weeks ago that due to budgetary constraints and cumbersome processes, only four individual veterans’ projects were processed during the last financial year. 

The current backlog stands at 11 139, and they require funding of N$2.2 billion.

The minister is asking the National Assembly to approve the allocation of N$874 million for veterans’ affairs for the 2022/2023 financial year.

He said 6 992 veterans received an improvement meant for welfare grants under the Veterans’ Act.

Veterans’ affairs facilitated the provision of medical assistance to 17 veterans, whose treatment could not be managed at State health facilities, and who also did not have medical aid nor the funds to pay for private medical services. 

A total of 96 veterans received direct psychological counselling during the 2021/22 financial year and 1 870 beneficiaries received their monthly subvention inheritance grants.

The government committed financial resources from 2009 to 2022 to pay monthly subventions, lump sums, individual veterans’ projects, funeral assistance, educational grants, medical assistance and land resettlement.

Other commitments include veterans’ housing, improvement of the welfare of ex-Plan combatants and the erection of tombstones. 

The ministry will continue ensuring all programmes and projects aimed at improving the socio-economic wellbeing of veterans are implemented, despite the limited resources.

Kapofi, while receiving the petition yesterday, said the government does not have money; however, he would take the petition to Cabinet for further discussion.  

Furthermore, Kapofi, speaking in Oshiwambo, denied claims by the veterans that he had promised veterans to be paid before the start of this financial year, saying he could not have made such a promise knowing government does not have the money. 

Responding to questions in parliament last year, regarding veterans of the liberation struggle’s registration and compensation, Kapofi told parliamentarians 6 091 children of war veterans are currently benefiting from the war veteran fund.

Of these, 804 are under the age of 18, while 5 287 are older than 18, Kapofi said.

He said the majority of these children receive the monthly benefit from the grants of their deceased parents until they reach the age of 18.

Thereafter, the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs takes care of their education and training needs in the form of a grant, he said. Kapofi added there are currently 1 008 children who have received education and training grants. 


2022-05-05  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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