The DTA of Namibia will not support the construction of a new parliament building while Windhoek is about to go dry because of a water crisis, DTA president McHenry Venaani says.
He was speaking at the party’s executive committee meeting here on Saturday.
Government plans to construct a new parliament building at a cost of about N$2,2 billion, which includes 400 offices and a wellness centre. Last year the members of the National Assembly increased from 78 to 104, while those of the National Council increased from 26 to 42.
“We do not view parliament as a crisis point. We view poverty, education – where we have children who do not have hostel facilities and who are sleeping on the floor – as more challenging matters,” he said.
He said arguments that the current parliament building is a colonial structure are not acceptable. However, the argument that it is too small to accommodate the current number of MPs could be considered.
Venaani said if the lack of space is the issue, the current building can be extended and renovated at a lower cost.
He used the example of the German parliament which, when faced with a similar problem, did not construct a new building but chose the more cost-effective option of renovating and remodelling the existing building so as to adjust to changing needs.
“I am yet to see empirical evidence that indicates that it will not be possible for Namibia to follow a similar course and until I am confronted with such reliable scientific evidence, the DTA cannot in good conscience support or endorse building a new parliament at the expense of the Namibian people during such stringent and challenging economic times,” Venaani said. – Nampa