10 Jan 2015 11:40am
KEETMANSHOOP, 10 JAN (NAMPA) Berseba Constituency councillor Dawid Boois is refusing to officiate at the handover of a house built for a female war veteran at the Gainachas village, some 20 kilometers from Berseba.
The house was built by the Ministry of Veterans Affairs for the pensioner last year. She is the third person in the //Karas Region to receive a house from that ministry.
Late December last year, Boois publicly objected to handing over the house to the veteran.
During the handover ceremony of a house to another beneficiary at Vaalgras, Boois alleged that the Gainachas recipient was not involved in Namibias struggle for liberation. The councillor further claimed that the pensioner was a member of the then Democratic Turnhalle Alliance (DTA) before Namibias independence.
He stated that he was invited to hand over the house to the person in question, but refused to do so, as that would be tantamount to him deceiving himself. Boois said he could not live with such a lie.
This week, senior liaison officer at the veterans ministry in Keetmanshoop, Laurencia Stephanus confirmed that the councillor declined to officiate at the planned house handover.
Stephanus expressed her disappointment and said that the pensioner was legitimately approved by the Veterans Board.
She said that her ministry work within a legal framework and follow stringent procedures when according veterans status to Namibians.
People should not touch on sensitive matters on flimsy grounds, Stephanus told Nampa.
She further said that it was unprofessional to act on hearsay, and that people had the right to object to a persons veteran status, but only if indisputable proof that can hold in a court of law could be provided.
Stephanus said the beneficiary was already housed in the newly-built structure since September last year.
We found the veteran living in unsafe and deplorable conditions and had her moved into the house with her family as soon as it was completed, she said.
Stephanus noted that her ministry would proceed with the official handover event of the house within the next few weeks.
We cannot force the councillor (Boois) to do the handover, even if it is in his constituency, she said.
During the house handover at Vaalgras, Boois, a former governor of the //Karas Region, also objected to alleged abuse of the initiatives of the veterans ministry.
My initial impression was that the ministry should have been temporary; that it should have done its work, and closed. But now, many of the initiatives are abused and there are people who did not fight for this country who are benefitting, Boois charged at the time.