Namibia 'runs out of money to feed soldiers'

Thursday February 01 2018

Thousands of Namibians troops will be sent on leave next month because the army has run out of money to feed them or to pay water and electricity bills at seven military bases, the privately owned Namibian newspaper reports.

Soldiers who are currently on holiday have been told not to report for duty, it adds.

The defence ministry had been hit by a financial crisis after its budget was slashed as the government tries to rein in expenditure.

It has also led to President Hage Geingob banning public officials from all foreign business travel.

"No request for outbound travel by ministers, deputy ministers and other political office bearers will be considered until after the end of February," a presidency statement said.

Mr Geingob has stopped using the presidential jet, and flew to the recent African Union summit in Ethiopia in a scheduled commercial flight.


Mr Geingob would only go on essential foreign trips, and with smaller delegations, his spokesman Albertus Aochamub said, AFP news agency reports.

Government debt levels have been soaring in recent years, leading to investor warnings about the economic outlook of the southern African state.

Moody's rating agency downgraded its debt to junk status in August.