Vets Ministry stops monthly grants of former SIPE members

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs has stopped the monthly financial assistance to former Socio-Economic Integration Porgramme for Ex-combatants (SIPE), who have not yet applied for registration as veterans of the national liberation struggle of Namibia.

Dan Kamati, public relations officer in the Veterans’ Ministry, said in a media statement on Thursday that the monthly grants were stopped with immediate effect.

Former SIPE members are getting of N.dollars 2 200 per month.

Kamati then called on the affected individuals to enquire at the regional offices of the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs about the matter.

He, however, could not say how many former SIPE members are not yet registered as liberation war veterans.

Kamati noted that the registration of veterans will continue until every veteran is registered.

SIPE was formed in 1997, and suspended seven years later in 2004.

It was funded by Government to alleviate the plight of disabled and unemployed former freedom fighters and those orphaned by the liberation war.

Some 16 000 former freedom fighters were absorbed into public service employment, mainly in the Namibian Defence Force, as well as the Ministries of Home Affairs; Works; and Environment and Tourism.

Under SIPE, ex-Plan fighters received monthly assistance of N.dollars 500, and war-orphaned children received monthly grants of N.dollars 334 for school uniforms, books and school fees.

With the formation of the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs in 2008, the monthly allowances were disbursed by the ministry.

It paid out N.dollars 9 500 to each veteran as back pay since the dissolution of SIPE, and upgraded their monthly allowances to N.dollars 2 200 per month.

After a housing assessment campaign, Government started to construct two- to three-bedroom houses, costing not more than N.dollars 300 000 each, for disabled and aged war veterans.

Other benefits to war veterans are medical assistance, counselling, funeral grants, funding for individual projects, eligibility for land resettlement, educational grants to veterans and their dependants, as well as subsidies to meet the costs of water, electricity and local transport.

Leave a Reply