The Namibia National Liberation Veteran Association (NNLVA) held its elective congress in Otjiwarongo, Otjozondjpa Region on Saturday with over 90 delegates in attendance.
The elections were presided over by reputed lawyer Sisa Namandje.
Each of the 14 regions was represented by six delegates, who took part in voting for the NNLVA officebearers.
Retired Commissioner Ben Shikongo (formally of the Namibian Special Field Force) emerged victorious,
with 68 votes out of the 92 voting delegates and thus takes over from Rtd. Lt. Gen. Raonga Andima as the new president of the government recognised veterans association, NNLVA, said Edson Haufiku, spokesperson in the office of the permanent secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Ruusa Malulu, a founding member of the association, was elected as vice-president, while another founding member, Alex Kamwi, was elected to the position of secretary general, deputised by Elfriede Katjatako, who is the new deputy secretary general.
Delivering her opening remarks on behalf of the Presidential Affairs Minister Frans Kapofi, Veterans Affairs Deputy Minister Hilma Ndinelago Nicanor called on the NNLVA’s new leadership to work hard to take the organisation to greater heights.
“This can only be achieved by, first and foremost, upholding the association’s constitution and by representing and protecting the interests of all veterans of the liberation struggle,” Nicanor said.
“Furthermore, I urge you not to forget your members by becoming complacent, as these very delegates elected you, because of the confidence they have in your abilities to improve the operations, programmes and activities of the association.
“It is my wish that you will execute your assigned duties with commitment and dedication at all times. I encourage the leadership to be democratic and to always listen and consider the issues, suggestions and proposals you will receive from members regarding their welfare.”
Queried on his immediate plans for the association, the newly elected president said his team intends to increase the association’s membership, as well as take advantage of various economic opportunities in the country in order for the association to become self-reliant and to lessen its dependence on government funding.
NNLVA was established in 2010 with aim of serving as a platform for dialogue between government and veterans of the national liberation struggle, in addition to representing the interests of war veterans by striving to improve their social and economic wellbeing through income-generating activities.