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Likando wants more defence funding

2023-04-19  Albertina Nakale

Likando wants more defence funding

National Council Swapo member John Likando has asked for more funding to address living conditions in military bases across the country. 

Likando said little upgrading and maintenance of military installations inherited from the apartheid regime countrywide have left properties in a dilapidated state.

While motivating the 2023/24 defence budget allocation of N$6.2 billion, Likando said there is a need to maintain aerodromes, harbours and jetties to avoid accidents and comply with international standards. 

“The infrastructure of the Ministry of Defence and Veterans’ Affairs dates way
back prior to independence, and the majority of them has reached (the end of) their life span. Many of them were built with prefabricated materials, which places them in a deplorable state as we speak,” Likando indicated.

Furthermore, he said, the government moratorium, which put on hold numerous projects, affected most ministerial capital projects, which has led to a serious strain on accommodation for soldiers. 

Likando mentioned that out of the ministry’s 14 capital projects, only four are active and funded. These are Mpacha, Karibib, Leopard Valley and the overall countrywide rehabilitation.

“Capital projects need more money under the budget review. We really want to have a force morale and ever-ready response
to all-season conditions. In addition to peace operations, NDF assists community fires, distribution of drought relief and
 flood evacuations. All these emergencies need a motivated force, and they are not budgeted for in most cases but at the service of the country,” the Kabbe South councillor argued. 

Under the current fiscal year, 2023/24, close to N$180 million has been earmarked for capital projects to upgrade and rehabilitate certain military bases.

 This includes N$124 million allocated for Leopards Valley military base, while over N$4 million is earmarked for the Karibib base. 

Also, N$ 4.3 million has been allocated for Mpacha, while a total of N$ 47.4 million is for the overall rehabilitation of military bases.

According to him, funds allocated to the defence ministry are not enough, given the situation the world finds itself in with the military hostilities in many parts of the world. 

“I will not shy away to mention the Russia-Ukraine war, the ongoing instability in Sudan since the toppling of Omar Bashir, as well as the instability in the rest of northern Africa (Mali, Chad, Tunisia and South Sudan). Here, at home, is the
ongoing rebellion in the DRC and the Isis presence in Mozambique. World militaries, including our neighbouring countries, are equipping themselves for any eventualities while we sit idle. The pride of the nation depends on the strength of its defence force,” Likando remarked.

He specifically emphasised that the defence ministry requires adequate funding for the operation and administration of both the ministry and NDF wings.

The recruitment of cadets and other professional military personnel, including the posting of military attachés at
diplomatic missions and organisations, where Namibia is a member, is another reason he said the ministry needs more funding.

Likando also called for more funds
aimed at completing ongoing and existing projects, especially the rehabilitation of old inherited infrastructure countrywide and the general modernisation of
defence capabilities to meet required standards. 

2023-04-19  Albertina Nakale

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