Prisons Chief Refuses to Sign Agreement

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By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK IN a rare moment, the Commissioner for Prisons and Correctional Services, Evaristus Shikongo, yesterday refused to sign an agreement with the Finnish Embassy intended for the training of his staff. At a press briefing scheduled for yesterday afternoon, the signing ceremony was called off after the commissioner said he only received the memorandum of understanding (MoU) document in the morning and as such he did not have ample time to go through it. When he perused part of the document, he noted there were a few issues that needed clarification hence his reluctance to sign. Commissioner Shikongo could not reveal what he was not satisfied with but told members of the press there were some technical problems that needed to be sorted out. Finnish programme officer responsible for funding for local co-operation Elise Heikkinen told New Era the signing of the agreement would involve two Finnish institutions, namely, the Finnish Prison Personnel Training Centre and the Finnish Criminal Functions Agency. The two want to collaborate with the Namibian Prisons Service in order to develop the Namibian Community Service Order as well as the training for correctional personnel in Namibia. Heikkinen said: “It’s only one technicality involving one wording. The signing of the agreement will definitely go on once everything is finalised. Once the agreement is finally signed, Finnish officials are expected to come to Namibia for the sharing of experiences and Namibians would do the same.”

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