Windhoek — The Ministry of Veterans Affairs has started with the erection of a monument of King Iipumbu ya Tshilongo of the Uukwambi, a noted leader in the anti-colonial resistance.
The monument is expected to cost N$18 million. The ministry committed N$4 million to the project, while the remainder of the funding will come from the National Heritage Council (NHC) and the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Dr Nickey Iyambo, during the first ministerial staff meeting of the year in Windhoek yesterday.
"The aim is to tell history in permanent statues as well as bringing history closer to the people," Iyambo said. He further said that Ya Tshilongo's monument will be followed by the erection of monuments of other important historical figures, such as Jacob Marengo, Samuel Maharero, Mandume ya Ndemufayo and Kaptein Hendrik Witbooi.
Iyambo says over the course of last year the veterans ministry has registered 1 872 veterans, bringing the total number of registered veterans to 24 457. The ministry received just over 40 000 applications, but 21 000 applicants failed to make it.
"The ministry has also provided financial support in the form of educational and training grants to 123 veterans and dependants of veterans. It has also assisted 129 veterans with funeral services," the Veterans Affairs Minister said.
The Veterans Board approved another 242 individual veterans projects, according to Iyambo. "In general, 2012 was a good year for the Ministry of Veterans Affairs," Iyambo said, and called on staff members to shun delaying tactics in the implementation of the ministry's programmes, but rather to work hard and with commitment.