Council Endorses Father of the Nation Bill

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK THE Conferment of Status of Founding Father of the Namibian Nation Bill was yesterday unanimously accepted by the Swapo dominated National Council. In his motivation as the only speaker on the Bill, Johnny Hakaye told the Council that the Bill was an extra-ordinary occasion to properly honour former President Nujoma. “Once upon a time, he was called a monster, a hyena, a cannibal, a terrorist and a communist. Actually he was an uncompromising and unwavering and tested revolutionary, a freedom fighter and a victor. We are talking about a Pan-Africanist and a renowned diplomat with formidable unifying abilities, President Sam Nujoma,” Hakaye said amidst wild applause from his colleagues. According to Hakaye, Nujoma gave birth to the country’s nationhood and the sovereign state of Namibia. “Comrade Nujoma stood unwavering at the helm of the Namibian revolution for the past 46 years. He had been a farsighted and visionary leader who brought about forgiveness and acceptance through the policy of national reconciliation. He made every effort to protect the policy despite numerous violations by the very same people who today are reaping the benefits of the policy of reconciliation,” Hakaye charged. He urged the House to accept the Bill without undue delay. “This Bill I consider as a Christmas gift to the recipient from the National Council and the entire population of the country. We bestow this honour on him with respect and dignity,” Hakaye said before the Bill was passed. In support of the Namibian Standard Bill, Leonard Mwilima highlighted the plight of communal farmers in Caprivi. “Most people in this region live off communal farming. They feed and educate their children from communal farming as their only livelihood. It is thus imperative that communal farmers be trained to become better farmers that yield bigger crops to compete in the market. “Maize crop production and cattle prices are very low in the area. Farmers can barely make a living out of it,” Mwilima said. “Instead of demanding more and bigger land, communal farmers should be taught and trained to produce more on a small portion of land by using modern technology.” He urged the Government to subsidize communal farmers to help them get out of their sub-standard economic circumstances, which prevents them from meeting cost production. “Everybody in this country will benefit from the Standard Bill because locally produced products will go through rigorous tests before being sold inside or outside the country. Once it is marked as approved by our own standards, it will gain a reputation of high quality of which the benefits will be awesome, I suspect,” said MP Bartholomius Shangheta in his contribution to the debate. He also sounded a serious warning. “If we are not careful, Namibia will become a dumping ground for substandard consumer goods, which will not only pollute our environment, but also endanger the lives of our people. We should establish whether these imported products really do what they can do or will become a rip-off of our people. We cannot sit idle while our people are being robbed of what they have earned through hard work,” he said of the Bill, which was passed by the National Council. Johnny Hakaye moved that the Bill on State-owned Enterprises be adjourned until Thursday for discussion by the whole House. The National Council is expected to go into recess on Thursday and will reconvene in March next year.