Members of Parliament worried about the leaking of classified information
A few members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security have expressed concerns over how confidential information of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs is ending up in the public domain.
Members expressed these sentiments on 28 April during a briefing meeting between the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security and the Ministry Defence.
Hon. Paula Kooper and Lucia Witbooi, Members of Parliament who are part of the Committee both expressed their dismay at how highly classified information was being leaked and therefore jeopardizing the national security.
“I am always sitting with a worry on how internal information of the Ministry of Defence is running into the public domain and I see the Ministry of Defence as one of the sensitive ministries and wonder how their classified information is reaching the public,” enquired Kooper.
Witbooi shared similar sentiments adding that it was a security risk to allow this trend to continue. “It is dangerous and risky for confidential information of Defence to continue to leak in this manner and we urge the Ministry to tighten their controls,” she added.
Dr Wilhelmine Shivute, Executive Director in the Ministry of Defence responded by concurring with the assertions by noting that the leaking of classified information has become a big challenge for the Ministry.
“On the information part, it is not only a worry, but it is in fact a headache and I think Namibia has become a country where people do not even restrain themselves,” she added.
She said people are even not scared of saying things that they are not sure of, therefore it is part of their strategy to vet people that they employ.
“We cannot promise that it will work but it is one of the strategies, because we know that we are supposed to be one of the agencies where information cannot just be made public but leaking of information continuing, hence the need to introduce strong measures,” she concluded.