A NUMBER of Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security have expressed concerns over how confidential information of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs is ending up in the public domain.
During a meeting that was attended by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security and the Ministry Defence, Paula Kooper, and Lucia Witbooi who are part of the Committee both expressed dismay at the ease with which highly classified information that could be jeopardizing to national security, was leaked.
“I am always sitting with a worry on how internal information of the Ministry of Defence ends up in the public domain. I see the Ministry of Defence as one of the sensitive ministries and wonder how your classified information is reaching the public,” Kooper said.
Witbooi, on her part, added that it was a security risk to allow the current trend to continue.
“It is dangerous and risky for confidential information of the defence ministry to continue leaking in this manner. We urge the Ministry to tighten their controls,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director in the Ministry of Defence, Wilhelmine Shivute responded by saying that the leaking of classified information has become a big challenge for the Ministry.
“On the information part, it is not only a worry, but it is in fact a headache. I think Namibia has become a country where people do not even restrain themselves. We are equally not scared of saying things that we are not sure of. Part of the strategy we have introduced is to vet people that we employ,” Shivute stressed, adding that the Ministry has introduced several other measures to deal with the issue.
“We cannot promise that it will work but it is one of the strategies. I don’t think you are worried more than us. We know that we are supposed to be one of the agencies where information cannot just be made public but the leaking of information is continuing, hence the need to introduce strong measures” Shivute maintained.