By: Pricilla Mukokobi
Defence minister Frans Kapofi has denied allegations that there are incidences of “sex for promotions” at the Navy Army Base.
PDM parliamentarian Johannes Martin, last month, quizzed Kapofi on whether these allegations were true.
“There have been reports of love affairs promotion being reported at the Walvis Bay Base. Certain females’ promotions are linked to male Higher Rank Officials where members were promoted to two or more ranks in a year, though a member is expected to be three years or more at a rank before another promotion. Hon Minister, are you aware of this kind of promotion? What will be your immediate intervention?” Martin had asked.
“I rebut the allegations. The Navy, or rather the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) in general, is an institution that operates on a strict disciplinary code, a clear chain of command with well-defined structures, procedures and processes,” Kapofi responded.
He further said that such statements attributed to female sailors is derogatory and deserve condemnation.
He further said that saving a country is not easy, and those female naval officers are professionals who serve their country with pride and are not sex objects.
Martin had further alleged that most promotions in the Navy are only reserved for members based at the headquarters.
Kapofi also denied this, stating that matters such as promotions are dealt with orderly and fair.
“As I indicated earlier, the NDF has a system in place dealing with issues of promotions such as processes in this regard are followed to the latter,” he said.
Kapofi added that there’s a selection board that is always instituted. He said its principal role is to nominate and shortlist eligible candidates for promotion and make recommendations to the Navy Commander for approval. “Hence, the board looks at the seniority, merit and discipline.”
Kapofi said that about 160 members of the Namibian defence force were promoted this year. In 2021 26 members of the Navy were promoted, while in 2020, 246 personnel were promoted. Eight members of the Navy was promoted in 2019. 389 in 2018 and 14 in 2017.
According to Martin, it has also been observed that the ratio of gender promotion taking place in the Navy mainly favours male soldiers over their female counterparts.
On this, Kapofi said, “The defence Force is a predominantly male sector; hence it will look as if the numbers of promotions are uneven in terms of gender. However, we are making sure that our female members who deserve to be promoted are earning those promotions and in line with our guidelines,” he said.