MP wants tax-free bonuses for civil servants

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WINDHOEK – The Republican Party (RP) wants tax-free bonuses for all government employees and laws that would compel all foreign-owned companies and mines to reserve at least 10 percent shares for grassroots organizations.

RP parliamentarian Clara Gowases made the proposal in the National Assembly on Wednesday when she made her contribution to the debate on the national budget.

“I propose a tax-free bonus for all government employees because it is only received once a year,” proposed Gowases.
Gowases said should government compel foreign companies to accord local organizations a stake, it will ease the burden on government and the SME Bank.

She also wants stricter control when it comes to the sale of exploration licenses and wanted to know how the price of exclusive prospecting licences (EPLs) are determined.

“Will we sell our EPLs and buy our own uranium from foreigners if we have nuclear power one day?” she said.
Delivering her maiden speech, Swapo backbencher Loide Shinavene said she wants the government to conduct a thorough review of all laws on land acquisition and distribution that have not been amended since independence.
She also wants the formulation of legislation that will prevent farm owners from converting their farms into close corporations.

“The by-laws applied by local authorities in selling land through auctioneering to the highest bidder – we propose that it be done away with in order to avert potential political and economic alleviation of the youth whose future livelihood on land is being threatened,” said Shinavene.

Shinavene said the practice of evicting senior citizens from their homes and land should stop and that “colonial laws that infringe on human dignity should be amended or totally abolished with immediate effect”.

Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) MP Mo Benson Kaapala accused government of preventing former SWATF soldiers from being registered as war veterans.

“We remain reduced to poverty. We fought for our pensions on our own for a long time until we understood that our plight is essentially the same as that of the miners of Tsumeb Copper Limited whose pension funds were shamefully stolen with the help of Namibian banks and Namibian courts,” said Kaapala.

Kaapala called on government to release persons who were imprisoned after the failed 1999 Caprivi (now renamed Zambezi Region) secession attempt.

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