Kavekotora criticises standing committee report on Namvet

01 Dec 2018 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 01 DEC (NAMPA) – Rally for Democracy and Progress Member of Parliament Mike Kavekotora has labelled a recent report by a parliamentary standing committee on the demands of the Namibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet) as “misplaced”.
In a parliamentary statement on Thursday, Kavekotora said the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs on a petition submitted to the committee by Namvet, highlight the lack of seriousness by the committee.
The veterans trust submitted a petition to the committee a week ago, in which it challenged Government on the legality of the Veterans Act, which guides the recognition of war veterans.
The organisation wants former members of the South West Africa Territorial Forces (SWATF) and those of the erstwhile counter-terrorism police known as Koevoet, to be recognised as war veterans.
Namvet leader Frans Jabulani Ndeunyema in the petition said the Veterans Act, Act No 2 of 2008 is illegal and contravenes the Namibian Constitution.
The organisation further demanded the Act’s replacement with another which will include former fighters who fought from both sides during the war for liberation.
However, Sebastian Karupu, the chairperson of the standing committee on Wednesday reported to Parliament that the committee has found that SWATF and Koevoet ex-soldiers do not qualify to be recognised as war veterans.
Karupu said such group of people should rather apply for social grants just like ordinary Namibians, in order to also benefit should they meet the set criteria.
Kavekotora, in his contribution to the report, noted that the manner in which the report was compiled shows that the committee members were hell-bent on ignoring the plight of these Namibians.
He said while “no one in his right mind” would condone the atrocities committed by the ex-soldiers against fellow Namibians during the country’s war for liberation, such atrocities were nonetheless a one-way street.
“We must admit that the ruling party also had their fair share of atrocities against fellow Namibians. Books have been written and are being written about what happened to Namibians in exile under the Swapo leadership,” he said.
As such, Kavekotora suggested that the report in question be referred back to the committee for them to “really interrogate this petition in a mature, collaborative way taking into account their fiducial responsibilities as stipulated in the Standing Rules and Order of this August House”.