Anarchy should not be tolerated

10 January 2018 | Opinion

Some former SWATF/Koevoet soldiers are threatening to spill blood following their defection from the Namibia War Veterans' Trust (Namvet) which in the last couple of years has been trying to draw attention to their plight. An attempt to march to State House in December last year also failed after their action was declared illegal by the police. And after enduring many struggles and frustrations, more than 30 ex-fighters have now broken away from Namvet to form the Namvet Liberation Movement. This grouping has also vowed to spill blood if their demands are not met by the authorities. There is clearly divided opinion on how the issue of former SWATF/Koevoet soldiers should be handled by government. On the one hand, many argue there is no justification for a pension payout, among others, for ex-SWATF/Koevoet soldiers who were against Namibia's independence. Others, however, feel that the group of ex-SWATF soldiers is being sidelined and marginalised by the government in an independent Namibia. The plight of the former fighters is a complex one and although the Swapo-led government inherited the republic from the South African authorities, it will be unfair to expect the government of the day to give in to their demands. Also owing to the competing priorities and limited resources at government's disposal, the plight of the apartheid soldiers is unlikely to be entertained. The government has not showed willingness to listen to them and it is high time that this matter is resolved once and for all. We cannot continue to have groupings making serious threats against such as that of taking up arms. Anarchy should not be tolerated. As Namibians, those who feel aggrieved are duty bound to respect the constitution and the laws of our country. It is also within their rights as citizens to approach the courts with their grievances. The policy of national reconciliation that was adopted after independence allowed perpetrators of brutal acts to be given the opportunity for amnesty and that should be respected by all. It is absurd and distasteful to make abhorrent demands against the very same government that you are threatening.

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