Economic sabotage through vetting

Nelson Tuhafeni Kalangula

The effectiveness and ethical soundness of using vetting for key government jobs depend on the specific context, design, and implementation of the vetting process, ensuring it serves the intended purposes without infringing on fundamental rights or principles. It’s important to engage in thoughtful discussion and consider diverse perspectives before reaching conclusions about the specific use of vetting in any given situation.


Identity and Nationality – Verifying identity documents like passports and birth certificates. Confirming legal right to work in the country. Education and Qualifications – Checking academic credentials and verifying degrees and certifications. Assessing if qualifications meet job requirements.

Employment History – Obtaining and verifying references from previous employers. Investigating possible gaps in employment or unexplained changes in career path. Financial History – Checking credit reports for potential financial mismanagement or debt issues. Ensuring no conflicting interests with financial holdings or investments.

Criminal Record – Conducting national and international criminal background checks. Assessing the nature and severity of any past offenses and their relevance to the job. Security Clearance – Higher-level jobs may require detailed security clearance interviews and investigations. This may involve polygraph tests, financial disclosures, and interviews with friends and family.

Personal and Social Life – In some cases, personal and social relationships may be investigated, particularly if they raise potential security concerns. This should be done respectfully and in accordance with laws in respect of privacy and human rights. Medical and Psychological Assessments – Certain roles may require medical fitness or psychological screenings for suitability. These should be conducted by qualified professionals and with the candidate’s consent.

While vetting can play a crucial role in upholding security, competence, and integrity in government appointments, it must be implemented with caution and awareness of potential pitfalls. Balancing legitimate security concerns with fairness, transparency, and respect for individual rights is essential.


The answer to this question depends on how vetting is conducted, its specific purpose, and its broader context within the economic system. Here’s a closer look at the potential risks and benefits to the Economy:

Political tool – Often the vetting process is politicised and used as a tool to punish or ban those who do not support the ruling party. Our biggest problem and drawback is putting our political parties first over the country, the country is often second, as a result it impedes on country’s development and growth. To use vetting as a political tool to make citizens who have a different opinion suffer, and cause deprivation of opportunities, is a very unfair practice and deprives any country of valuable and capable human resources.

Economical weapon – Cutting off someone because of Political affiliation from a job opportunity even though qualified and competent can qualify as a weapon to kill any country’s capacity in creating potential industrial players and robs us of capable leaders who can contribute and aid in propelling the economy forward. Cutting off capable individuals due to political affiliation contributes to killing one’s economic power.
Meritocracy, competence and ethics- Vetting for key government jobs involves a thorough background check to assess an applicant’s suitability for the position. Meritocracy and competence is overlooked because of derailed focus.

The use of vetting for a key government job can be a sensitive and complex issue, with potential benefits and drawbacks that deserve careful consideration. Here are some to consider:

Discourages talent and innovation – Overly stringent or politicized vetting can discourage qualified individuals from applying for key positions, leading to talent scarcity and hindering innovation within the government and public sector.

Increases bureaucracy and delays – Excessive vetting procedures can create bureaucratic bottlenecks and delays in filling crucial positions, impacting project timelines and economic activity. Some vetting process can take up a year or 2 to complete, a major drawback, as this can be discouraging and harmful to any economy in the modern fast paced world.

Undermines confidence and investment – Lack of transparency and fairness in the vetting process can damage public trust and investor confidence, leading to negative impacts on economic growth and stability.

Leads to brain drain – If talented individuals face undue hurdles or discrimination in the vetting process, they might turn to opportunities outside the country, contributing to brain drain and talent loss.

Improves governance and efficiency – Thorough vetting can help to identify and weed out corrupt or incompetent individuals, leading to better governance and more efficient use of public resources. This can create a more favourable environment for economic growth and development.

Strengthens public trust and investment – A fair and transparent vetting process that ensures the appointment of qualified and reputable individuals can boost public trust and investor confidence, contributing to a more stable and thriving economy.

Protects national security and interests – Proper vetting procedures can help to prevent individuals with potential conflicts of interest or security threats from occupying sensitive positions, thereby protecting national security and economic interests.

To optimize the impact of vetting and prevent economic harm, it’s crucial to:
Ensure a fair and transparent process – Clear criteria, independent oversight, and public disclosure of procedures are key to prevent abuse and build trust.

Find the right balance of rigor and efficiency – Vetting should be thorough but not overly bureaucratic, avoiding unnecessary delays and discouraging talent.

Align vetting with specific needs – Tailor the vetting process to the specific requirements of the position and avoid applying blanket rules that might be counterproductive.

Continuously evaluate and improve – Regularly review the vetting process to identify and address any shortcomings that might negatively impact the economy.

While vetting can pose risks to the economy if not conducted properly, it can also offer significant benefits in terms of improved governance, increased trust, and protection of national interests. Ultimately, the key lies in finding the right balance between thoroughness, fairness, and efficiency, ensuring that vetting serves its intended purpose without unnecessarily hindering economic activities.

To support a different political party that opposes the ruling party does not mean that one has become an enemy of the country, it is fit to say that many opposition party supporters often are made to feel like enemies to their own country simply because of the party they support.

It is imperative that we use vetting wisely and consider talent in our beloved motherland over foreigners. It does not makes sense failing a Namibian on vetting and the later passing a foreigner who possess a bigger threat to national security, this works against Patriotism. We should learn to embrace Namibian talent and consider such talent for good government jobs regardless of their beliefs and affiliation. Let’s improve and put Namibia first.

Captain/Flight Lieutenant Nelson Tuhafeni Kalangula is a former Namibian Air force Helicopter pilot, Aviation Safety and Aircraft Accident investigation certificate holder, Author, with a Bachelor of Commerce Honours and B-Tech Business Administration in academic qualifications.)

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