By Mbatjiua Ngavirue WINDHOEK The globalised world calls for greater coordination of intelligence gathering to increase Namibia’s readiness to deal with imminent and potential threats, says Prime Minister Nahas Angula. In his view the need for a healthy and, preferably centralised, national intelligence coordination mechanism can therefore not be overemphasised. Angula added that both large and smaller nations are finding value in systems of national intelligence that deliver coordinated intelligence products. He was officially opening the first ever stakeholders’ workshop of the Namibia Central Intelligence Service (NCIS) in Windhoek yesterday. The workshop brings top government officials, academics, other civil society representatives and members of the intelligence services together to discuss policies surrounding national security and intelligence gathering. The aim of the workshop is to receive input from a wide variety of stakeholders in order to assist the NCIS in formulating its 2nd Five-Year Strategic Plan. Angula said the government was determined to create a more conducive legal framework and environment in which intelligence and security services can conduct their business. He was aware of the policy vacuum that haunted the intelligence and security services in trying to carry out their functions. “Namibia as a country does not have a national security policy, and some of the existing policies relevant to intelligence and security are not in harmony,” he observed. He hoped the workshop would come up with a number of recommendations on formulating new state security policies, and harmonising existing ones. Globalisation has created more challenges for intelligence and security services because the movement of people, goods and services is no longer confined to frontiers of nations and states. “The holding of this workshop is a realisation of the need for a strong smart partnership between the intelligence community, people whom they serve and the international cooperating partners,” Angula said. The nation’s expectations from the intelligence community, he explained, are that they must provide timely and well-coordinated intelligence. The intelligence also has to be credible and responsive to the needs and aspirations of the Namibian people to enable policy-makers to make informed policy decisions. “In their conduct and execution of duty the intelligence services must safeguard the Constitution, uphold individual rights and promote security, stability, cooperation and development,” he stated. The Prime Minister also gave the assurance that the government has put in place enough “checks and balances” in terms of oversight to ensure that intelligence and security services do not abuse power in the execution of their duties. There is oversight by the executive branch from the President, Cabinet and the Cabinet Committee on Defence, Security and International Relations. From parliament there is oversight by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Intelligence, Security and the Auditor General. In addition, Angula said, there is judiciary oversight from the Ombudsperson as well as competent courts of law.
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