WINDHOEK, 12 APR – Founder and chairperson of the Namibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet) Jabulani Ndeunyema has appealed to former SWATF/Koevoet members to remain focused on their plans for recognition as war veterans.
This is after President Hage Geingob on Wednesday once again said Government will not recognise former members of the South West Africa Territorial Force (SWATF) and Koevoet as war veterans.
He was responding to a question by Salmon Vleermuis of the Workers Revolutionary Party after delivering the State of the Nation Address.
Vleermuis wanted to know what Geingob’s position is on their demands for recognition as war veterans with all benefits attached through the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs.
“It is very difficult to give war veteran status to former members of SWATF and Koevoet,” Geingob said.
He further stated that they earned a salary while fighting to deny Namibia its independence, while members of the former People’s Liberation Army of Namibia were paid nothing, but had to sacrifice for the country to enjoy the peace and stability it does today.
“We have been asking the president the same question for years and his answer has remained the same,” Ndeunyema said.
He is however of the opinion that there is still hope for them and he appealed to the group to remain calm and focused.
Ndeunyema told Nampa they still have hope as they had a promising meeting with Geingob on 15 November 2016.
Afrobarometer on Thursday released findings from research conducted last November on whether the ex-SWATF/Koevoet members should be awarded veteran status or not.
Forty-three per cent of the respondents agreed that they should be granted veteran status with benefits, while 37 per cent disagreed and 20 per cent neither agreed nor disagreed.
Afrobarometer is an independent, non-partisan research network that measures public attitudes on economic, political, and social matters in Africa.