War vets furious over housing 'propaganda'

15 July 2020 | Infrastructure

ILENI NANDJATO

ONESI



People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) pioneer war veterans - most of whom are still living in poverty and squalor - say they are not impressed by government handing over a house to 72-year-old retired army colonel Fillipus Amutenya 'Zulu' Nandenga so late in his life, calling the exercise “a mockery” and “propaganda”.

They said after he retired in 2008, Nandenga stayed in dilapidated house used by a former South West African Territorial Force (SWATF) commander, and the government has incorporated his new house into the old one.





“This sounds like a mockery to somebody's life. Where was government for the past 30 years when Nandenga needed this house the most and had the capacity to appreciate it? What is paining Nandenga now is not his living conditions, but his physical condition,” said a veteran, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“To me, this is like propaganda, just for him to be paraded in the media that the government has built him a house.

“It is true that they have built him a house, but it is at a time when he is on the verge of dying, although we are all dying.”



Dedicated to freedom

In 1991, Nandenga joined the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) and was given the lowly rank of warrant officer, despite his extensive training and experience.

He attained the rank of colonel after serving in the military for 18 years, before his retirement in 2008.

The veterans said Nandenga is weary physically and mentally, after suffering for many years. “For someone who dedicated his life to the freedom of the country and was a regional commander in exile, the rank of colonel was not befitting for him. “This is showing that they see his contribution to our freedom as nothing. This does not only apply to Zulu, but to many others.

“Some were senior commanders in exile, but they did not get any employment after independence,” another veteran said. “The only time high government officials remember us (struggle veterans) is during the 26 August commemorations and when we are no longer alive.”

The group, mainly consisting of veterans who joined the liberation struggle between 1960 and 1973, said the handover is pure propaganda and makes a mockery of the living conditions that many veterans are still enduring.



Govt official living large

The group also lamented their poverty, claiming their plight is being overlooked, while fellow combatants, some of whom are now senior government officials, are living in luxury.

This past Friday, Vice-President Nangolo Mbumba handed over the N$790 000 government-sponsored three-bedroom house to Nandenga at Oshakati East, near the NDF's 263 Motorised Infantry Battalion's base.

According to Mbumba, Nandenga joined the liberation struggle in 1963 at the age of 15 and established the northern front, before becoming its regional commander in 1977 at the age of 29.

“He was a great political commissar who went about motivating his fellow combatants. When morale was low, he reminded us that transport was coming and when food was (in) short (supply), he would make a way,” Mbumba said, while thanking Nandenga for his contribution to the liberation struggle.

Mbumba explained that government-funded houses are donated to war veterans as a token of appreciation, and beneficiaries are expected to pay for municipal services such as water, electricity and refuse removal.

He pointed out that, to date, government has constructed 299 decent houses for eligible veterans in the country, while at the same time admitting that the waiting list is still long.

Similar News

 

Otweya: Housing news met with mixed emotions

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Infrastructure

OTIS FINCKWALVIS BAYErongo governor Neville Andre last week informed the Otweya community that the construction of 121 houses for residents of Twalaloka informal settlement, whose...

No crack in Neckartal wall

4 days ago - 22 January 2021 | Infrastructure

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe agriculture ministry says all possible risks, including flooding, were assessed before the Neckartal Dam was built and claims of a crack in the...

Calle ecstatic as Neckartal passes 40% mark

2 weeks ago - 08 January 2021 | Infrastructure

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKAgriculture minister Calle Schlettwein has expressed delight that the amount of water currently in the Neckartal Dam after the recent heavy rains is about...

New development planned south of Windhoek

2 months ago - 18 November 2020 | Infrastructure

YOLANDA NEL WINDHOEK A public meeting is scheduled for Thursday this week to discuss a new proposed development at Farm Gross Haigamas.Developers Birdsong Properties are...

Road junction open to traffic

2 months ago - 03 November 2020 | Infrastructure

ERWIN LEUSCHNERSWAKOPMUND The junction at the eastern entrance to Swakopmund and 33 km of tarred road between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay – including two new...

20 low-cost houses for fire victims

3 months ago - 08 October 2020 | Infrastructure

LEANDREA LOUWWALVIS BAYTwo months after a fire swept through the Otweya informal settlement in Walvis Bay, destroying homes, leaving hundreds homeless and killing a two-year-old...

Health facilities handed over at southern border

4 months ago - 25 September 2020 | Infrastructure

Ariamsvlei • Elizabeth Joseph The Anglo American Namibia Foundation (AANF) in partnership with the DeBeers Group officially handed over and inaugurated brand new port health...

Govt launches housing census

4 months ago - 01 September 2020 | Infrastructure

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEK The ministry of urban and rural development and the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) have embarked on a housing survey that will contribute...

Police village in the pipeline

5 months ago - 21 August 2020 | Infrastructure

NAMPAWINDHOEKWith many police officers unable to afford decent accommodation in Windhoek, the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) is looking at constructing a police village to house...

Housing high on the agenda in Erongo

5 months ago - 17 August 2020 | Infrastructure

ADOLF KAURESWAKOPMUNDErongo governor Neville Andre has announced that Farm 37 will be ready for occupation by October.“People living in backyard shacks, residents of Otweya informal...

Latest News

Nam has exhausted 75% of...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUAccording to the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report, Namibia’s ranking has deteriorated significantly in the last decade, falling from 66th place in 2010...

New year, same old auction...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Fishing

MATHIAS HAUFIKUWINDHOEKTroubled state-owned fishing company Fishcor hoped to have secured N$33 million in an auction of fishing quotas whose bids closed on Friday, in part...

Govt backs Recon’s Kavango oil...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Energy

KENYA KAMBOWEKAWEDespite a number of objections against the planned oil and gas exploration at Kawe village in the Kavango East Region, the government has given...

I owe GIPF nothing –...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Business

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKBusinessman Ranga Haikali on Friday said he owes no money to the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) from the fund’s ill-fated Development Capital Portfolio...

New Shell service station opened...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUThe new Oshakati Shell opened its doors over the festive season to an expecting public. With refuelling and eating options, the new Shell facility’s...

SA’s Mr Price posted a...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Business

South Africa's Mr Price on Friday posted a 5.8% rise in third-quarter retail sales, supported by Covid-19 relief packages and demand for household items as...

MTC records 2.66 percent increase...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Business

Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) on Thursday announced a 2.66 percent increase in revenue from N$ 2.613 billion recorded in 2019 to N$ 2.683 billion in...

SA’s Mr Price posted a...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Business

South Africa's Mr Price on Friday posted a 5.8% rise in third-quarter retail sales, supported by Covid-19 relief packages and demand for household items as...

Heavy rain, flooding expected this...

1 day - 25 January 2021 | Weather

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKThe weather bureau has warns that heavy rain with localised flooding is likely in the Omaheke Region tomorrow.This will spread to the central-northern areas,...

Load More