By Aldrin Mukendwa
DEPUTY Minister of Veterans Affairs, Hilma Nicanor officially inaugurated new office in Katima Mulilo for War Veterans recently.
Among the delegates attended the ceremony was the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Richard Kamwi,Traditional Leaders and Zambezi Regional Governor, Alfea Sampofu .
In her keynote address, Deputy Minister Nicanor emphasised that “The history of the struggling Namibians has been marked by unfortunate episodes of suffering and untold hardships that was inflicted upon our people by the colonial and apartheid oppressors.”
She added that in order to bring an end to the colonial apartheid oppression, many patriots, nationalists and freedom fighters fought with courage, dedication and resoluteness and this was struggle for a just cause to freedom and self-determination.
“As a Ministry Veteran Affairs, our mandate is to provide social and economic support to the veterans of the national liberation struggle in order to enable them to engage in sustainable initiatives and improve their livelihood, including keeping of the history of the national liberation struggle alive and preserved” said the Deputy Minister of Veteran Affairs.
Ms. Nicanor also catalogued some of the achievements and strides made by her ministry since its inception in 2006. This included the registration of veterans of the liberation struggle with over 50 000 applications from prospective veterans( both inside and outside) have been received by the ministry to be accorded veteran status and receive assistance thereafter.
“Out of this number, the Board has approved 24,097 as at 29 August 2013, of which the Khomas Region recorded the highest.” Noted Nicanor.
Honourable Deputy Minister also pointed out that monthly financial assistance (subvention) is paid to unemployed retired veterans and those earning an income of N$ 36,000.00 per annum and below. Currently, 10,378 veterans are receiving a monthly allowance as at August 2013.
“Once off Gratuity (lump sum) out of the 24 094 veterans have thus far received their lump sum. Veterans will continue to receive their lump sum upon approval of their application for veterans status by the veteran board.”
She further revealed that her ministry has been giving some Medical assistance, since 2010, while 274 veterans have been assisted by the ministry.
Other special opportunities such as Educational and training grants for veterans and their dependents, funeral grant and tombstones, construction of veterans houses, resettlement of landless veterans programme and individual veterans projects (IVPS) have been awarded.