Govt forks out billions on veterans' projects

03 Mar 2015 14:00pm
SWAKOPMUND, 03 MAR (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs has made significant progress since its establishment in 2006, the line minister said on Monday.
Speaking at the official opening of a five-day annual review and planning meeting in Swakopmund, Veterans’ Minister Nickey Iyambo said they have made great strides towards their objective of integrating war veterans into the socio-economic mainstream of society.
“There were indeed challenges experienced during the implementation of programmes but the fact remains that we will always face challenges. What is important is to rise above them and emerge as winners as opposed to losers,” he remarked.
The minister urged his staff to continue working in unison and focus on serving the Namibian people.
To date, 27 000 applications have been approved for war veteran status and 30 000 await approval.
Since 2010, a total of 7 289 approved veterans of the liberation struggle received N.dollars 200 000 each to fund their individual projects such as farming, tailoring and other business-related projects since 2010.
These figures were revealed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary (PS) Hopelong Ipinge during an interview with reporters here on Monday.
To improve the economic well-being of the veterans and dependants of veterans, the ministry provides financial assistance to veterans of the national liberation struggle.
Veterans who begun participating in the activities of the liberation struggle between 1959 and 1987 will receive a lump sum payment of N.dollars 50 000, while veterans who begun their liberation struggle activities between 1988 and 1989 will be paid a lump sum of N.dollars 20 000.
The lump sum is paid to all registered veterans of the liberation struggle regardless of employment status.
Unemployed veterans and those veterans whose monthly earnings are below the tax threshold receive a monthly subvention of N.dollars 2 000 each.
Selected veterans receive houses, resettlement farms, free medical services and scholarships for themselves or dependents.
Ipinge noted that more applications for war veteran status are still coming for processing, vetting and approval.
“When all war veterans are registered and approved, the ministry will continue to maintain their projects and give them assistance for as long as they live. Those who pass away, their children and siblings will take over their affairs,” said the PS.
He pointed out some challenges the ministry face such as documenting the history of Namibia’s liberation struggle.
“However, we have just entered into an agreement with the University of Namibia to help us write the history,” said Ipinge.
The history to be taken into account will span from 1959 to 1987.
Forty-three officials representing the ministry across the country are attending the meeting to review the ministry’s 2014/15 annual work plans; present, discuss and consolidate the 2015/16 annual work plans; and review and update the 2015/16 performance agreement.