Lack of funds hampers veterans association’s operations

19 Dec 2018 13:20pm
WINDHOEK, 18 DEC (NAMPA) – The Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA) said it can only cater to all its members in all 14 regions if it gets sufficient funding.
The association’s president, Ben Shikongo, said this in the capital on Tuesday while addressing a media conference on its activities, future plans, progress and challenges encountered during the 2017/18 financial year.
Shikongo said the N.dollars 1 million allocated to the NNLVA by the Ministry of Veterans Affairs for the 2017/18 financial year was merely a “drop in the ocean” and could only last for three months.
It was not enough to cater for all of its 14 mobile regional offices, he said, explaining that due to the financial challenges, a total of 11 000 veteran projects that were approved could not be implemented during this financial year.
Shikongo further indicated that the NNLVA was waiting for the ministry to approve its budget for the 2018/19 financial year, but was however hesitant to disclose how much the association requested, for fear of criticism.
He said the new undisclosed budget would be used mainly to remunerate the association’s regional coordinators.
“We need to sympathise with our regional coordinators. They are working day and night in deplorable conditions without remuneration but we made recommendations for the future,” said Shikongo.
He said members of the association are required to pay a N.dollars 120 annual membership fee, and urged those that want to join to do so as the association is the only recognised and legitimate body representing veterans of the liberation struggle.
Shikongo also revealed that the association applied for fishing quotas and was confident that the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources would consider their application, as the funds generated will be used to help veterans even with their medical costs.
“We also approached the Development Bank of Namibia to fund some of the individual projects and we are in talks with some of the abattoirs like the one in Eenhana to give discounts to veterans when they buy meat there,” explained Shikongo.
The NNLVA president further warned veterans attending meetings organised by other groups that claim to represent them, offering grants from the United Nations (UN), to refrain from attending such gatherings.
“Our people are being told that there is money from the UN but we are not officially informed that there is UN money. So the issue of UN money is null and void. If there is something, we will inform you. Those trying to confuse our people should stop,” he concluded.