By: Hilma Tuukondjele
The Swapo party’s youth league says the requirement posted by the Defence Force recruitment is too high.
This comes as the defence and veteran affairs ministry released a vacancy calling for people interested in joining the Namibian Defense Force to apply.
However, those interested must be aged between 18 to 25 years old before 31 July, and among other requirements, must be ready to undergo a comprehensive medical test including HIV/AIDS, pregnancy test, must hold a grade 12 certificate and run 2.4KM in 14mins 30 seconds (for women).
SPYL secretary for education Hofni Iipinge said that one still needs to undergo training and doesn’t really need to have high points. 25 points in Grade 12 or equivalent are a requirement.
The public has also criticised the requirements and says it is discrimination.
Iipinge said that the Defense Force is about physical training and not education, and it is not an academic course and merely requires a person to be fit.
“For me, it’s an opportunity open for everyone willing to join NDF despite their educational background,” he said.
He added that some people are fit but failed Grade 11 or grade 12.
“Most people are ready to go for training, but unfortunately, a person just had 18 points in grade 12. ”
Regarding the Covid-19 vaccination requirement, Iipinge said he hopes people set and iron out the issue since the youth do not want to be vaccinated.
He also said that if one trainee has the Covid-19 virus, it would be easy for them to infect one another.
Iipinge, however, argued that making the HIV test a requirement is discriminatory since some people were born with the virus, and some people are HIV positive and fit.
He said that the older people become unfit, so they asked applicants to be between 18-25.
Namibian Exile Kids Association (Neka) president Rauna Amutati
said that she is disappointed in the system as it used to be between the age of 18-35.
She said that Neka is the affected group since they thought they would apply like before, but to their surprise, the age limit changed, leaving them in a dilemma and disadvantaged.
She also said they are engaging with the line ministry, hoping to find a solution.
She shows her disappointment as a Neka president, stating they have been engaging with different groups while waiting for the message to come out officially. She has already collected the applications for people who cannot fill in for themselves.
“I’m yet to understand what made this criterion so low apart from all the other criteria,” she said.
She said that many people, especially on social media, are disappointed, trying to understand why the requirements are so high.
She adds that children of the liberation struggle are affected, and poverty remains since many people have kids and cannot provide for them.
Labour expert Herber Jauch said that, since the unemployment rate is high and people feel discriminated, especially with the age limit, most people are unable to apply since they are above 25 years.