Namibia suspends foreign travel for public officials

Namibia’s President Hage Geingob

Namibia’s President Hage Geingob has banned all foreign travel by public officials until at least the end of February in a bid to rein in government expenditure, the presidency said on Wednesday.

Namibia’s government is facing a severe cash crunch that has resulted in budget cuts across ministries as the economy struggles to recover from deep contractions in the construction, uranium and diamond industries.

“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.

“This directive is specifically in the interest of curtailing public expenditure.”

Namibia’s Defence Force said this week it can no longer afford to buy food for soldiers or pay water and electricity bills at its bases.

Thousands of army personnel will be forced to take leave next month while those already on holiday have been asked not to report for duty, the defence force said.

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