Accord war vets the necessary respect

15 July 2020 | Opinion

War veterans who complained in today's edition of Namibian Sun that government is delaying their so-called 'tokens of appreciation' such as houses and start-up capital for businesses have a valid grievance.

While we are not huge supporters of these tokens – because they are too exorbitant for what was supposedly voluntary participation in the liberation struggle – we believe whatever has been promised must be delivered within a reasonable timeframe.

Delivering houses to people who are in the evening of their lives is both a waste of state resources and an insult to the very core principles for which such packages were decided upon.

In the case of 72-year-old retired army colonel Fillipus 'Zulu' Nandenga who is featured on our front page today, his peers said giving him a house only now is 'a mockery' and 'propaganda'.

War veterans have gobbled up public funds because of the excessive way their 'thank you' packages have been designed.

They receive a special monthly grant, a one-off lump sum of N$200 000, free houses and other countless benefits piled on top of these.

We value what these selfless sons and daughters of the soil have sacrificed for the sake of all of us. We also agree that indeed they must be taken care of, but within reasonable context of a country that has high unemployment rates and other socially excluded groups.

But as long as the current regime of recognising them is in place, let's deliver our promises to them well in time.