Namibia: Geingob Blocks Foreign Trips of Politicians

Air Namibia plane (file photo).

President Hage Geingob has announced that no minister, deputy minister or other political office bearer will be allowed to go on a state-funded foreign trip until after the end of February.

In a statement signed by press secretary Albertus Aochamub, Geingob said the move was "specifically in the interest of curtailing public expenditure" and follows his call to rein in government spending.

"This directive is with immediate effect," the statement issued this morning said.

Aochamub said the President has lead by example on containing his own travel expenditure by only undertaking absolutely critical outbound travel and with smaller delegations since assuming office almost three years ago.

"The most recent actions have included him foregoing the use of the official Presidential jet both on the December 2017 vacation and the AU summit underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The President has instead chosen to use scheduled commercial flights as they proved to be more cost-effective for the routes he travelled," it said.

It comes in the wake of clear signs that government finances was in trouble.

Today media reports said the army has sent thousands of soldiers on forced leave due to budget cuts.

Similarly, several ministries have struggled to settle debts, recruitments have been put on hold and procurement also negatively affected.

* More in tomorrow's newspaper.

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