By Catherine Sasman
Elia Kaiyamo, chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resources, Social and Community Development, has urged civil organisations to use their unique vantage point to advise Government on what development problems are needed in the various regions of the country.
The committee met representatives from 12 regions of the country yesterday, to discuss the role of the organ, and how it can reach out to communities at local level.
“[It] is imperative to note that government operations often rely on community organizations, church groups and other civil organizations as intermediaries for reaching the poor,” said Kaiyamo.
The Namibia Institute for Democracy (NID) is hosting the civil society delegates who are visiting various government agencies and other organisations involved in issues of governance.
Kaiyamo said his committee had undertaken a trip with parliamentarians working on issues of women’s health to Caprivi, Kavango and the Khomas regions to assess the matter of health care service delivery for women in these regions.
A report with findings and recommendations will be distributed to all stakeholders once completed.
A member of the delegation, Ndahambelela Ndamono Ndeulita, who described herself as a concerned citizen from the Oshikoto Region, said Government’s constant pronouncements on the lack of appropriate skills is not entirely correct.
Instead, she criticized that Government and other agencies only employ those with “political loyal-ness” to the ruling party in high positions, at the expense of appropriately qualified Namibians.
“My ID as a Namibian should qualify me for a job or any other benefits enjoyed by others,” she said, adding that with a Masters Degree, she has been forced to breed chickens because she does not have the right “political card”.
She also claimed that youths who are not attached to the ruling party find it hard to access what the National Youth Council has to offer.
“We [the Namibian Government] are the ones creating unemployment, people stabbing each other, hardness because we have an exclusive society,” said Ndeulita.
Other members of the delegation expressed concern over insufficient labour inspectors and access to other government offices – particularly in the Hardap and Karas regions – the fact that donor money earmarked for HIV/AIDS programmes do not reach district committees, the “downward spiralling” of education, and baby dumping.