Windhoek-The Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs, Hilma Nikanor, has expressed disappointment over allegations that some staff members are fast-forwarding applications for individual veterans projects (IVPs) of those known to them to be approved first, at the expense of other applicants.
The Veterans Amendment Act, No. 2 of 2008 makes provision for the Ministry of Veterans Affairs to fund IVPs at not more than N$200,000 per project per veteran.
However, there have been allegations of favouritism and corruption. Some veterans claim that staff at the ministry fast-forward applications of their friends and family, while others have to wait forever for their money and projects to be approved.
“I hope this is not true and remains allegations because if it is the case, it’s going against the values of transparency as enshrined by Article 18 of the Namibian Constitution, which aims at advocating for administrative justice. We must be seen to uphold administration justice and not violate the constitution,” Nikanor stressed.
During the 2016/17 financial year 1,355 individual veterans’ projects were initiated and funded, Nikanor said when addressing a ministerial staff meeting on Friday.
On her ministry’s achievements during the 2016/17 financial year, Nikanor said a breakthrough was made in developing the guidelines on the regional economic opportunities to align IVPs to regional economic profiles so as to assist veterans to implement projects.
Other achievements include the introduction of a new payment system for IVPs that requires a supplier to first deliver the IVP materials to the veterans in the presence of veterans affairs staff members, before the supplier is paid, for the ministry to ascertain correct delivery of materials to beneficiaries.
Nikanor further revealed that 131 aspiring veterans were accorded veteran status during the 2016/17 financial year, bringing the total number of approved veterans to 33,654 while 1,221 new recipients of the monthly subvention were added on to the system.
Furthermore, 778 new recipients of the welfare improvement grant were added on to the system, while 41 veterans were assisted with medical assistance and a total of 36 veterans’ houses were connected to the Nored electricity grid.
Despite the economic hardships currently facing the country, Nikanor said, the ministry will try to implement all the planned programmes and activities by using the little resources at its disposal.