Ex-Plan combatants threaten to take Swapo to court over unpaid refugee money

Eba Kandovazu

CHAIRPERSON of former People Liberation Army of Namibia (Plan) combatants, Matheus Nangolo, says the group will be forced to take legal action if International Relations and Cooperation Minister (Mirco) and Deputy Prime Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, does not respond to their petition in which they are asking whether or not the ruling party received their money from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) upon their return from exile in 1989.

Matheus, in an interview with Windhoek Observer, says the group will collectively consult with regional members on the way forward, following weeks of petitioning to the International Relations Ministry. Yesterday, the group handed over another petition to the ministry. In September, a series of petitions were also handed over to the ministry.

“If we do not get a response from the minister, we will sit down and deliberate on the way forward but taking legal action is an option we are looking at. All we need is just an answer from the minister whether or not Swapo received the money”, Nangolo says.

He stresses that a four-hour meeting was held between the parties on 7 October. “At that meeting, we all agreed that Swapo would issue a letter declaring that they did not receive the money from the UN in 1989, when there was no government structure. We still haven’t received that letter even though the minister agreed. Time and time again we have requested that they give us the letter, to no avail. We had also requested that they give us the minutes from that meeting but we haven’t gotten anything,” Nangolo states.

Nangolo alleges that about US$ 21 million was supposed to be paid for the reintegration of Namibian returnees within their home communities. The money, he says, was aimed at meeting critical short term needs for individual and family rehabilitation and to promote self-reliance among its beneficiaries.

The group demands that the UN provides a list of names of ex-Namibian refugees who benefited, if the repatriation programme was successful. According to Nangolo, the UN referred the group to government.

This publication earlier reported that the Executive Director at Mirco, Penda Naanda said that the ministry is not aware of any funds allocated for resettlement and rehabilitation by the UNHCR, of Ex-freedom fighters repatriated in 1989.


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