THE Ministry of Defence has requested for more funds to carry out capital projects that include building new military bases nationwide as the current ones are reportedly in a dilapidated state as they were built in the early 1970s.
For the current Financial Year, 2019/20, a total of N$5,884,817,000 has been allocated to fund the programmes of the Ministry of Defence.
Johannes Nangolo from the Standing Committee on Security, Constitution and Legal Affairs stated that during regional oversight visits, it was noted with concern that more attention needs to be paid to the NDF as soldiers are falling asleep due to the dilapidated nature of army bases.
He further urged government to assist the ministry to build more infrastructure across the country as there are currently no funds allocated under the development budget for the current Financial Year.
“Security can never be compromised. We are enjoying peace today, however, tomorrow is not guaranteed,” Nangolo stated.
He added that in addition, the ministry needs more funds to keep up with the purchasing of modern equipment and sophisticated devices.
“We need to build bases country wide. Our army needs to be strong, physically well trained, as well as technologically up to date and the current budget funds are too small to reach this objectives,” Nangolo stated.
National Council member Rosalia Shilongo reverberated the same sentiments, stating that the current budget allocation of the NDF is not enough as the ministry is, in her opinion, the most important as it safeguards the sovereignty of Namibia, renders assistance in national disasters and is responsible for resolving conflicts.
Shilongo stated that the Ministry of Defence will not be planning any projects for the financial year 2020, but will instead complete current projects.
“Why allocate more funds if they are not doing anything, some might ask” Shilongo said, adding that apart from playing a key role in times of natural disasters, the NDF is now also directly involved in the fight against souring crime rates in their newly launched operation Kalahari Desert.
“Government vehicles used to carry out this operation need fuel, soldiers need food,” Shilongo said.
The minister further lamented that currently, there are development projects within the ministry that are moving at snail pace due to the poor economic environment.
She stated that for the past Mid Term Economic Framework, funds are budgeted for the rehabilitation of old army bases under Land operations, but that this was a waste of resources as new bases need to be built.