Germany Gives Technical Back-Up to Parliament


By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK Speaker of the National Assembly Theo-Ben Gurirab feels the Government must go beyond making interim arrangements that would ensure the National Assembly suits the modern needs of Parliament. The building that today accommodates the National Assembly, according to Gurirab was not intended, when it was designed and constructed in colonial times, to satisfy the requirements of a modern august House. Though that should be the case, Gurirab acknowledged that the House has served the Assembly well since the country attained independence. Gurirab said arrangements that would cater for the needs of people specifically afflicted with disabilities must be made. Before Gurirab assumed the position he holds today, his predecessor Dr MosÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚© Tjitendero had engaged the Germany Ambassador Wolfgang Massing for assistance to create more space in the National Assembly chamber and hence explored possible funding for the project. Though the Speaker could not indicate how much would be needed to bring the current House to a modern Parliament, he suggested discussions still remain inconclusive for reasons he could not reveal. While discussions are yet to be concluded, on Monday this week the German government showed strong support for the idea and provided technical back-up equipment that was handed over to Gurirab. The donation, which came from the German Parliament, consists of indoor wall cameras, colour monitors, laptop computers and other technical equipment as well as thirty printers. These essential gadgets have already been installed in the National Assembly replacing the old and virtually inoperative equipment. This, according to Massing, was done in an effort to help the Namibian Government strengthen the computer competencies of its members of parliament. The goods valued at N$230 000, stated the ambassador, will play a major role in the country’s young democracy especially that Parliament is a House where all pressing matters of national interest are discussed. Through such efforts, each backbencher has been provided with a computer. “The contribution is aimed at strengthening the special relationship that exists between the two nations,” added Massing. The ambassador indicated that during President Hifike-punye Pohamba’s visit to Germany towards the end of last year, many issues of developmental interest on both sides were discussed, adding that the two countries would continue supporting each other for the wellbeing of their people. The Speaker expressed gratitude to the German Bundestag for donating the much-needed equipment to Parliament. “I assure you that all will be put to good use in the best interest of the work of the House,” confidently stated the Speaker.