Veterans want to be appointed to boards

08 March 2021 | Politics

TUYEIMO HAIDULA

EMBANDU



The president of the Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA), Ben Shikongo, says members of the organisation want to be appointed to strategic positions, including boards of directors, as reward for fighting for the liberation of the country.

Shikongo says they find themselves outside the Swapo Party structures and feel left out despite their contributions to the country's independence.

He was speaking to members of the association at Embandu on Saturday.

According to him, he discussed their demands with President Hage Geingob and Geingob vowed to meet their “reasonable” demands.



Feeling left out

Shikongo said they want to be appointed to strategic government institutions and party structures.

“The veterans have work experience and military and academic training obtained from different parts of the world but they still feel the government structures do not adequately value their experience and qualifications.” He said most war veterans are homeless, destitute, physically disabled and abandoned by their families.

“We fought for this land and our demands must be met where possible. Why should we have people suffering? Can they not appoint them to boards?” he said to loud applause.

Shikongo said no member of the Swapo military wing PLAN is involved in the Fishrot scandal, which proves that their fight was “genuine and for the love of the country”. He also said that war veterans are worried about the disunity and lack of discipline within the ruling party.

Shikongo said those in positions of power could hire the war veterans to make sure they bring back order in the country, as they cannot have their leaders like Sam Nujoma disrespected by young people.

The establishment of the ministry of veterans' affairs in 2006 put in place an institution to deal with all matters pertaining to veterans.

Shikongo said the ministry should hurry and address the plight of the veterans while they are still alive, as most of them are approaching old age.

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