The Former Refugees Repatriation Association Namibia, previously known as Former Plan Combatants have requested President Hage Geingob to remove the Minister of Defence Frans Kapofi and his Deputy Minister Hilma Nicanor as well as Director of the Department of Veterans Thaddeus Elago in Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs for allegedly mistreating veterans.
The group made these demands in a petition handed over to National Assembly Secretary Lydia kandetu today.
The Founding President of the association, Matheus Nangolo said they also want the veterans department dissolved.
“They must be removed with immediate effect, because of ill-treating veterans and as a result many of the veterans are left out of the mighty Swapo’s green pastures. We request the department of veterans affairs be removed from the ministry of defense and be made a ministry on its own like it was before. We also want veterans’ affairs to be led by the veterans’ children who were born in exile themselves,”the petition reads.
The group also demanded that their monthly allowance of N$ 2 200 be increased above the level of inflation.
“Most of our comrades are receiving a mere N$2 200. How does the government expect our veterans to survive on this amount when the level of inflation is too high in our country? We demand this amount be increased,” they said.
Additionaly, the group also demanded to know what happened to the money that was supposedly budgeted for Resettlement and Rehabilitation programs of former refugees in Namibia, alleging that about US$ 21 million was supposed to be paid for the reintegration of Namibian returnees within their home communities.
The money, thay say, was aimed at meeting critical short term needs for individual and family rehabilitation and to promote self-reliance among its beneficiaries.
The organization was founded last year with
the aim of safeguarding and representing the interest of all the repatriated refugees in 1989.
The association stressed that a number of former refugees do not have any form of representation and its approval to operate as a non-profit association will strive to ensure those former refugee gains full representation.
The founding president of the association, Nangolo, said it would be the only independent association to represent all former Namibian refugees.