By: Ludorf Iyambo
Students who study military science, criminal justice and security management have questioned their educational achievements following the Namibian Defence Force’s (NDF) latest vacancy post.
Students who were eying employment in the NDF as it is in line with their studies say they have been left out due to their age. The ministry announced the recruitment of people from 18-25 years.
Tomas Haimbondi, a bachelor’s degree holder in criminal science, said he has a passion for becoming a soldier and has been waiting for that opportunity since 2016.
“In the past five years, the ministry did not recruit. I graduated from NUST in 2019 when I was 24 years old, but now I’m over age, as the ministry demands. I thoughts we were going to be the priority as this is what we have studied, and this is what we wanted to become ever since,” said Haimbondi.
The 27-year-old said he and others like him could only have gotten employed in the Namibia defence force, correctional services or Namibian police with the three courses they studied.
“When we were young, these opportunities were not there, and now our chances are being given to our young brothers and sisters who still have opportunities to do something different. I wonder, to us who have studied for this, where will we work? So our government have thrown us away,” said Hamunyela.
He further said he had been volunteering as a police officer for three years after, he added, NUST students signed a memorandum of understanding with Nampol. This was done for them to train with Nampol for at least three months before they get employed.
“I’m still a volunteer as I cannot be under gratitude, just sitting in the house. When you are unemployed, sitting in the house will sometimes cost you your life. I work 8 hours daily, and I work almost every day,” he said.
Lucia Nghishikungu, a security management graduate, said that some students studying education, for instance, will apply for NDF but might quit later when they get the money.
“Us who are beyond 25 years, who will employ us? Someone with a bachelor’s degree in education can apply for NDF, but with a criminal justice degree or security management, I cannot apply for education. So does my education, passion, and ability go to waste like this? Shall I go back to school again and study something else? Questioned Nghishikungu.
She added that their qualifications are specifically in law enforcement or security, and they have no alternative options.
“Some people have options; hence the ministry should look at us. And if it is not, the institutions should not offer such courses anymore,” she said.
The defence and veterans affairs ministry is moving forward with its drive to recruit 1,500 new NDF members despite a storm erupting around the Covid-19 vaccination and HIV testing requirements for new recruits.
The ministry says it will not adjust the required age limit from 25 to 30 years for acceptance. Defence minister Frans Kapofi said that the defence force should not be turned into an employment agency.