The then Ministry of Veterans Affairs was established on 4 October 2006. It was established in compliance with the order of the President of the Republic of Namibia issued in terms of Article 32, sub-article (3)(g) , of the Namibian constitution.
Veterans Affairs was mandated to initiate, promote and implement programs and projects which address the socio-economic needs of the veterans and keep the history of the national liberation struggle alive.
Prior to the establishment of the Veterans Affairs, the Government of the Republic of Namibia implemented various programmes and projects aimed at addressing the socio-economic needs of veterans, some of which have not been successful.
- A Subvention fund from which some veterans were to receive N$ 2200.00 dollar a month for the rest of their lives;
- The Socio-Economic Integration programme for Ex-combatants (SIPE), a body, created to cater for the interests of veterans;
- Provision of livestock to some veterans to start farming;
- A Peace Project through which some veterans were absorded into the police and army force;
- The Development Brigade Corporation (DBC) which was created to initiated development projects which would create employment for veterans;
- The Integration of some veterans into State Owned Enterprises (SOE) and the Public Service and
- The provision of houses for eligible veterans.
It has been recognized that these initiatives were implemented in a fragmented manner. The formation of Veterans Affairs is therefore intended to coordinate these efforts and to address the needs of the veterans in a systematics and effective manner.
Who is a Veteran
According to the Veterans Act No. 2, 2008, a veteran means any person who:
- Was a member of the liberation forces;
- Has consistently and persistently participated or engaged in any political, diplomatic or under-ground activity in furtherance of the liberation struggle;
- Owing to his or her participation in the liberation struggle was convicted whether in Namibia or elsewhere , of any offence closely connected to the struggle and sentenced to imprisonment but does not include persons who during the war deserted the liberation struggle unless that person sub-sequently rejoined the struggle waged in Namibia and other countries by the liberation forces against the colonial forces and which struggle resulted in the attainment of the independence of Namibia on 21 March 1990.
Since its formation in 2006 the Veterans Affairs has:
Established an organizational structure with the necessary skeletal staff. The structure will be reviewed once the strategic plan has been finalized
- An operational budget;
- Secured an appropriate building from which the Ministry operation;
- Formulate the Veterans Act, with which it will control the activities of the Ministry. The Veterans Act intends to repeal the war Veterans Subvention, (No 16 of 1999).
- In brief, the proposed Veterans Act:
- Defines the responsibilities of the Minister in relation matters relating to veterans and
- Establishes a scheme for the integration of the pension of veterans who have joined the public service.