By: Uakutra Kambaekua – Opuwo
Kunene regional governor Marius Sheya has maintained that the regional leadership is content with the recently advertised Namibian Defence Force (NDF) vacancy requirements for hopeful soldiers. He said that it is inherent that military commanders and their staff must be highly creative in planning and be critical thinkers as the world is now evolving.
In an interview with The Villager, Sheya said that for the country to evolve in terms of its military, developing adaptive leaders also demands warfighting skills and critical thinking.
“We must accept that the world is evolving. I want us to avoid the notion that NDF is meant to take in people without qualifications. NDF is there to protect the sovereignty of its country. Whichever country wants to have their best man and women defending its borders, defending in any kind of attack sometimes, it doesn’t have to be a physical attack. It can also be cyber or any other form of attack. We must do away with the notion that as long as I am Namibian under a certain age group, I must be qualified to qualify to NDF,” charged Sheya.
He also stressed that if the country is to compete against the best of the best of other countries, it should thus centre its approach on inventing new technologies, ones that will profoundly focus on securing the country’s borders in different ways.
“We must be thinking of the military moving towards a space of innovation, a space of serving beyond just carrying a gun,” added Sheya.
Kunene region, like Otjozondjupa, makes up the country’s most significant number of marginalised communities. This scenario has also affected more marginalised youths in acquiring job opportunities.
Sheya said that fortunate candidates have been taking up space in various employment opportunities that were at times meant for the severely affected communities.
He also advised that for the severely affected candidates to be accepted at NDF, the force should thus liaise with the responsible ministry to validate and get the correct information on marginalised candidates.
“If you leave this to politicians, office bearers, or technocrats in our offices to issue letters, we might find a sense of abuse where anybody can issue them. Let’s say I feel like this person. I need them to go into the system. I can issue them with marginalised letters, so let the ministry deal with the marginalised community, to select real marginalised community, young people that qualify with this requirement,” advised Sheya.
One of the most debatable issues surrounding the NDF requirement is the Covid-19 vaccination passport which caused a lot of controversies among lawmakers and the public in general, an obligation which, according to Sheya, should be indisputable.
“We are not out of the woods, we have lost too much from covid, so the vaccine is vital. Getting vaccinated is not just about them, and if we are translating information to young people that it’s okay to define requirements, then what are we saying. These are the people who are going to protect the sovereignty of the country. If people are given orders in the military, they don’t complain first and then execute. They execute and then complain later because they protect the country’s sovereignty,” charged Sheya.
Moreover, the governor cautioned that the Covid-19 fight is not about personalities and that it’s about ‘us’ protecting our homes, adding that those applying are not complaining, but rather the privileged that are complaining and causing unnecessary issues.
“The people who are applying are content. We are saying young people should be given a choice to choose certain requirements because of people’s feelings and sentiments on whether to get vaccinated or apply just like that, then what are we saying to them, that it’s also okay to go to the military. When the commander gives you a command, it’s okay to say no, I don’t want to do it, or I have a choice not to do it,” questioned Sheya.
Last week, NDF announced that willing candidates should possess a Covid-19 vaccination passport and are between the ages of 18 and 25. It also stated that applicants must undergo various medical tests, including an HIV/AIDS test with other additional requirements, including a Grade 12 certificate.