Venaani appeals to Pohamba not to provoke any person

OSHITAYI: The DTA of Namibia president McHenry Venaani says it is a shame that President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who is entrusted with the security of the whole Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, suggest war between Namibians.

Venaani said this on Saturday at the Oshitayi village near Ondangwa in the Oshana Region during the official opening of the DTA joint regional conference for the northern regions of Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto.

He was referring to a statement which Pohamba made during the unveiling of a People’s Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) fighters’ statue at Omugulugwombashe in the Omusati Region on 21 May that “ex-members of colonial government forces can go to war”.

Pohamba said this whilst he was reiterating his refusal to grant war veteran status to then Namibian colonial government soldiers who fought under the South West Africa Territorial Force (SWATF) and Koevoet.

An organisation representing ex-members of SWATF and Koevoet military units called Namibia War Veterans’ Trust (Namvet) demands the current Namibian government to recognise its members as war veterans like their ex-counterparts of PLAN who benefit from financial grants given by the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs.

Speaking during the statue unveiling, Pohamba referred to them (ex-SWATF and Koevoet fighters) as killers, and added that he will tell his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma to also not accept them if they go to that government with the same demands.

“They (SWATF and Koevoet) can go back to the bush, we will meet them,” Pohamba said then.

In this connection, Venaani said the DTA will never allow Namibians to go to war, but his party and leadership will encourage dialogue in any conflict situation.

Venaani wants Pohamba, as the chairperson of the SADC organ on Safety and Security, to invest in the peace of the country by considering some assistance to all former soldiers, because hungry, trained people always pose a threat/danger to any nation.

“So President Pohamba, do not provoke any person,” Venaani urged, adding that if there is a problem it should be addressed through peaceful dialogue to avoid people going to war against one another.

The DTA president wants to see the Namibian government investing in the maintenance of peace in the country by ensuring economic security to military-trained people, including former SWATF and Koevoet fighters.