Kuzeeko Tjitemisa Windhoek-The head of the Public Relations Division in the Ministry of Defence, Major Petrus Shilumbu, yesterday assured the nation that it is safe despite mandatory leave involving thousands of army personnel. Speaking to New Era yesterday, Shilumbu said the security situation in the country remains secure, adding that the remaining 70 percent of soldiers in military bases all over the country are enough to handle any eventuality. He said due to the financial crisis in the country the chief of the NDF, Lieutenant General John Mutwa, issued a directive that at least 30 percent of army personnel be sent home every month on a rotation basis to cut rising costs incurred by feeding the troops. “Those 30 percent that are on leave are not on leave in a foreign country and they can be called back if any situation arises,” said Shilumbu. “Feeding, clothing soldiers is not an easy task for any country especially a country in our current situation – this is not new here, rest assured that we are all safe, despite all this,” he said. He said that sending soldiers home has been happening since 1990. “The rule is that only 30 percent should be allowed to leave the base,” Shilumbu explained. He said the mandatory leave would not affect personal normal leave days so it should be regarded as a bonus. Meanwhile, last year a total of 921 soldiers comprising 837 males and 84 females graduated at the military school in Okahandja. According to the ministry’s website, graduates from all corners of Namibia entered the military school on September 12, 2016 as recruits to be trained, transformed, and equipped with all the necessary military skills and knowledge required by professional soldiers who are ready to defend their beloved motherland. “It always makes me happy and proud, and I presume my colleagues too are happy and proud, to see how the Ministry of Defence and especially the Namibian Defence Force are doing on training. One can really see progress in this area,” said Minister of Defence Penda Ya Ndakolo during the graduation ceremony for the 15th recruit intake, which took place in March last year.
2018-02-02 10:28:27 7 months ago