Vaccination-resistant youth, who want to be recruited by the Namibia Defence Force, resorted to buying fake vaccination cards to submit with their applications.
A 36-year-old alleged peddler was arrested on Tuesday after he was found doing brisk business with aspiring cadets.
Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Defence and Veterans Affairs indicated that Namibians between the ages of 18 and 25 (before 31 July 2022), who passed grade 12 with 25 points, should apply as cadets.
However, application forms should be accompanied by Covid-19 vaccination cards.
This has allegedly forced some of the unvaccinated prospective applicants to scramble for fake vaccination cards.
The suspect was arrested at his printing shop at Goreagab, where he allegedly makes copies of the vaccination cards and sells them.
Khomas police spokesperson Silas Shipandeni confirmed the arrest.
The suspect, whose name cannot be revealed as he has not yet appeared in court, allegedly charged N$500 per card that he completes and signs himself.
Police said the information came to light after one of the residents reported the matter to them. The suspect is expected to appear in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court today.
Executive director in the ministry of health and social services Ben Nangombe said the ministry has condemned those who sell fake vaccination cards. “This is unacceptable and completely out of order,” said Nangombe.
He stressed whoever is doing it will become an example to others.
“The ministry didn’t give consent to anyone to sell Covid-19 vaccination cards. This is a serious crime; therefore, whoever is doing it should be arrested immediately,” he stated. Nangombe urged the public to follow the right procedures of the ministry of health when it comes to vaccination.
“Covid-19 vaccination cards can be issued only at the vaccination points, and they’re given for free to those who have vaccinated,” he added.
He added whoever is going to be found with fake Covid-19 vaccination cards will be arrested.
“Let’s refrain from buying fake Covid-19 vaccination cards. People should report it to the police as soon as possible,” he urged.
Namibia’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign has been largely ignored by Namibians since it started in March 2021, despite 4 060 Covid deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Government’s latest statistics show that only 439 842 people have been fully vaccinated, translating to 24.7% of the total target population.
Last Friday, Namibia removed all restrictions imposed on account of Covid-19 but insists on citizens voluntarily comply with public health and social measures. - firstname.lastname@example.org