Parliament urged to pass life-changing laws

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WINDHOEK, 09 December 2016 - President Hage Geingob speaks during a meeting with representatives of the Shambyu Traditional Authority headed by Senior Headman Edward Sikerete Mutero at State House. (Photo by: Joseph Nekaya) NAMPA

Esme Konstantinus

Windhoek-President Hage Geingob yesterday urged members of parliament (MPs) to rededicate themselves and engage in respectful debates regarding the 40 bills to be tabled this year, so as to pass laws that are aimed at improving the lives of Namibians.

This, the President said, is in line with the ideals of the Namibian Constitution.
Among the 40 bills to be tabled this financial year are the combating of abuse of drugs, education, financial institutions and markets, micro lending, Namibian property practitioners and trafficking in persons bills.

Geingob – who officially opened the fifth session of the sixth parliament yesterday – explained that parliament’s role within the country’s system of governance is highly significant given the fact that a parliamentary form of government acknowledges the fact that parliament derives its power directly from the consent of the people, expressed through periodic elections and that it exists to implement the will of the people.

“Our parliamentary system also provides the most suitable platform to execute a participatory democratic system and active interaction between the people and their representatives,” he said.

He added that the Executive, which is essentially Cabinet, is also obliged to be accountable to parliament, noting that accountability of the Executive to parliament is based on the principle that since parliament represents the will of the people, it should be able to hold the Executive accountable at all times.

The Head of State strongly called on MPs to uphold the interests of the electorate this year and maintain the quorum of parliament while demonstrating honesty, appetite and commitment, so that their input will reflect in a positive output for the whole of Namibia.

He however informed the MPs that Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, the head of government business in parliament, has outlined their work program and that they should therefore be ready to deliver positive outcomes this year.

“Don’t forget that parliament is the political nerve center of our country. You are the mirror of the society, accommodating the needs of these ever evolving times and shouldering the responsibilities bestowed upon you by the electorate,” said Geingob.

Meanwhile, the opening of the fifth session of the sixth parliament was attended by the two former presidents of Namibia, Founding Father of the Nation Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba.

Geingob described the fact that all three presidents were under the same roof at the same time, was a unique situation anywhere in the world.

“When the three of us traveled to Havana last year to attend the memorial of the late Commandante Fidel Castro, many leaders and dignitaries from other countries that were also in attendance remarked at the uniqueness of the unity between us,” he noted.

“This is a unique legacy, it is a Namibian legacy, a legacy born in the blood, sweat and tears of struggle and a legacy which will culminate in the realisation of a peaceful, united and prosperous Namibia.”

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