Let’s Have More Pendukeni Ithana’s

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The Editor Kindly allow me to comment on New Era’s article titled “Ithana Dismisses NSHR Reports” of 28th June 2006 – which seemingly has touched on Namibia’s Constitution and who is its best protector. Over years a number of people had felt the President of a Republic had absolute powers in protecting, amending and repealing or for that matter suspending laws that were seen to be unjust. So could the Liquor Act have qualified as one – if its impact on the nation would result in irreparable damage to the economy and social wellbeing of a nation. As the argument goes, it is as if each side has grounds for and against such an act – but then it is for our leadership to look into the pros and cons of such a situation to come with a solution that does not disadvantage the already toiling members of a society. Empowering such people should have been the first priority – if such an act was passed in 1998. How many years have gone by without enforcing such an act – for it to be forcefully implemented now? No wonder the confusion! But the argument which has over-weighed and grabbed the attention of a nation – surely won’t be about shebeens, but how much power does our President have. Threats or hinting on possible impeachment of the President as a result of the ongoing debate were very improper. President Poham-ba did not send any signals to do what that Constitution does not allow him to do if any, but had responsibly assigned his team to work on the case. Irrespective of what shebeen owners thought on the President granting a moratorium on the Liquor Act – the comments made by Justice Minister Iivula-Ithana were uncalled for. As the legal advisor to the President – she would have made her points in a diplomatic way that no one is offended nor undermined in the process. And for that matter, we all know ministers serve at the pleasure of the President. But if anything, what came out of this debate is that – the interest of a nation must come first than playing puppet to a President. The Minister of Justice had paved the way for now and the future that spells – a President cannot act solely disregarding the laws of a country. If that were to be – punitive measures will follow. It was a bold move by the Minister of Justice – demonstrating how brave and courageous she is, so is to where her loyalty lies – defending and protecting the Namibian Constitution without fear or favour. Despite whatever transpired Iivula-Ithana had done what many African politicians will never dream to say – whilst still in Cabinet. Indeed, a good move for democracy. Out of a “dirty” episode the lesson made and demonstrated is much more than the negativity created. At least, forewarned is forearmed! Frank discussions don’t break friendships. May we have many of her kind that speak their minds freely – than those who wait and use that as a tool to destroy their comrades. Thank you. Mulife Muchali Vancouver Canada