By Eliaser Ndeyanale
DEFENCE minister Penda Ya Ndakolo has said that members of the public who will be caught taking photographs and snooping on military bases will be fined or imprisoned for their injudicious acts.
The Minister said that any person who contravenes the ministry’s provision may on conviction be sentenced to a fine not exceeding N$20 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Ya Ndakolo said this in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
He said his ministry had taken note that there are individuals including members of the media who have developed a habit of taking photographs and snooping on military bases and installations for reasons only known to themselves.
“We have also observed the irresponsible and increased usage of drones flying over military bases and installations, which could be construed as a threat to such military installations. Therefore, to avoid possible mishaps in future, the Ministry of Defence is hereby seriously urging members of the public, the media or any other person to stop such practices with immediate effect or else bear responsibility for their imprudent acts,” the Minister said.
Ya Ndakolo, further emphasised that no person may, unless authorised by the Minister or on the Minister’s authority, take any picture or make any sketch, plan, model or note of any military camp, barracks, dockyard, installations or other premises or any land or area of water used for military or defence purposes or which is under military control or of any party thereof or any object therein.
“While we acknowledge the role played by the media, including the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), information dissemination to the general public, reporting of military information should be treated with utmost caution because publishing and sharing classified information with all and sundry could jeopardise the security of the country as such information will not only be made accessible to friends and Namibian patriots, but also to would be adversaries.”
He added: “It would not be of public interest to expose or publish sensitive military related information without regard to the security of our motherland.”
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