Namibia: Stop Asking About the Army, Ya Ndakolo Tells MPs

DEFENCE minister Penda ya Ndakolo has asked fellow members of parliament to stop asking him questions relating to the Namibian Defence Force activities that "might compromise national security."

Ya Ndakolo said some members of parliament have been asking sensitive questions about Namibian Defence Force (NDF) activities.

He made these remarks in the National Assembly last week when responding to questions by PDM leader McHenry Venaani.

Venaani had asked about the cost of the defence museum at Okahandja that was built by the government in 2004 for about N$4 million, but was never inaugurated.

The PDM leader also wanted to know the progress made with the construction of a munition factory which was being constructed by a North Korean company, Mansudae Overseas Project Group.

He likewise asked whether the factory has now started the production of arms, and the actual amount the government spent on its construction.

Furthermore, the PDM leader asked about the status of the ongoing construction of the NDF headquarters in Windhoek, and the company that took over the project after the North Korean company left in 2017 due to threats of sanctions from the United Nations.

In his response, Ya Ndakolo said some of the questions asked by Venaani "appear to seek answers that could be detrimental to our national security interest".

He said details on the construction of the munition factory was not for "public consumption".

The minister further stated that the defence-owned company August 26 Holdings took over the construction work at the NDF headquarters after the North Koreans left.

Ya Ndakolo then advised members of parliament to always be patriotic, and "consider whether such questions are really in the best interest of the public, and at the same time to bear in mind our national security interests".

"We must always try to be a little patriotic and think about how our questions or answers on a specific matter could affect our national security.

"Even though we live in a free, independent and democratic Republic of Namibia, we must remember that there are matters that are not for public consumption, and there are also state secrets in every country," he stated.

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