Call for creation of Chief Whips Forum

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Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Windhoek – Namibia’s second largest trade union federation, the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA), is calling for the establishment of a Chief Whips Forum that will focus on broad-based socioeconomic, cultural and political concerns.

Addressing the media, TUCNA secretary general Mahongora Kavihuha said such a forum would tackle issues from trade unions and other social formations that have no political affiliation for onward address by the parliament or relevant parliamentary committees.

Kavihuha said this yesterday shortly after the union federation leadership met with Speaker of the National Assembly Prof Peter Katjavivi. Issues discussed at the meeting include the access of stakeholders to parliament, the football saga and issues related to the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF).

He told the media that one of the concerns they brought to the attention of Katjavivi is the question of the independence of the legislature that for the past 26 years feels it is compromised in that its administrative staff is appointed by a structure that is supposed to be equal to it,” he said, as the executive is the appointing authority of the legislature’s administrative staff.

He said the union leadership also pleaded with the Speaker for the participation of the public in national budget debates, saying they have observed that national budgets are debated in parliament only on the basis of what is fed to them by various ministers without the perspectives of the public. “The various committees must have public input and from those directly involved,” the outspoken unionist said.

Kavihuha is also of the opinion that the current parliamentary information dissemination process is wholly inadequate. According to him, the public should at all times be in the know as to what is happening in parliament wherever they may find themselves. “Subscription mechanisms must be put in place through social media and other IT mechanisms to ensure that this is done,” he stressed.

He said the delegation also raised concerns over the football situation in Namibia, asking the Speaker to look for ways in which parliament through its various structures can see to it that top flight professional football is restored to its rightful place in the socio-economic setup of Namibia.

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