Namvet has no intention of going to war: Ndeunyema

10 Sep 2014 18:00pm
OPUWO, 10 SEP (NAMPA) – Namibia War Veterans' Trust (Namvet) chairperson Jabulani Ndeunyema says his organisation has no intentions of taking up arms against the Namibian Government.
Ndeunyema was reacting to allegations by members of Namvet that the organisation was busy sourcing weapons and ammunition to take up arms against government.
He told Nampa in an interview on Sunday that their only fight with the government is for recognition for ex-South West African Territorial Force (SWATF) and ex-Koevoet members as war veterans under Namibian law.
Sources from within the organisation told this news agency last week Namvet’s real intention with meetings held with members country-wide earlier this year was to acquire weapons in order to start a war.
Ndeunyema however vehemently denied the allegations.
He explained that he visited different regions from 23 July to 08 August this year to talk to his members and introduce them to the patron of Namvet, Lennart Bollinger - a Swedish national who is interested in sourcing funds for business projects to sustain the members of Namvet.
He however did not say what type of projects these would be.
Ndeunyema explained that Bollinger was visiting Namibia as a tourist, and that he had used the Swedish national’s time in the country to introduce him to some of the organisation’s members in the regions.
The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, claimed that the meetings with Bollinger were held secretly to exclude some members as the meetings were apparently aimed at mobilising members to take up arms against Government.
Allegations are that the motive for the war is the Namibian Government’s refusal to recognise ex-SWATF and ex-Koevoet soldiers as war veterans, which has seen many suffering from unemployment and hunger.
“We do not want war, despite the President (Hifikepunye Pohamba) saying we should go back to the bush if we want to,” Ndeunyema said.
He added that he was even falsely accused of building a military camp in Opuwo, as well as of having ties with rebel groups in other African countries.
“All we want is to share the cake of our independent country's taxpayers’ money as war veterans are entitled to do,” he stated.
Ndeunyema then said he was followed by the police in all regions he visited, and was apparently intimidated by the police in the Kunene Region, who allegedly confiscated his passport and that of Bollinger. They were apparently also questioned by the police several times.
The Regional Commander of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) in the Kunene Region, Commissioner James Nderura confirmed to Nampa on Tuesday that Ndeunyema was questioned by the police in Opuwo about his operations in the region, but was not intimidated in any way.
Namvet is a Namibian-based non-governmental organisation for former SWATF/Koevoet soldiers.
It was registered in 2012 and has about 22 000 members. Namvet's aim is to get benefits for its war veterans from the Namibian Government.