Windhoek-The National Council has withdrawn a report of the Standing Committee on Gender, Youth and Information Communication Technology emanating from a workshop on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), due to the sloppy and unclear recommendations by some members of parliament.
The report, which is signed by the committee chairperson, Ambrosius Kandjii, who is the Swapo Councillor for Katutura Central Constituency, received a lot of criticism yesterday when one of its members Hans Nambondi tabled it, but the house did not understand its recommendations, which forced the council to resolve that the report be withdrawn and sent back.
Kandjii, who was not in the house, also received criticism that he on many an occasion was absent and failed to attend sessions.
The committee comprises of its chairperson Kandjii, Nangula Namuhuja (vice-chairperson), Steve Biko Booys, Victoria Mbawo Kauma, Nambondi, Damian Haikera Nakambare, Johannes Anstino and Jason Ndakunda.
The workshop aimed to enlighten the committee members on the SDGs and strengthen the oversight role of the committee on those goals that fall within the sphere of the committee’s mandate.
Some of the unclear recommendations include that members of parliament engage the National Planning Commission to conduct a comprehensive analysis of all offices, ministries and agencies and recommend corrective measures for implementing the SDGs.
One recommendation calls for increased involvement of the grass-roots communities through measures that reform the SDGs so that women, men, girls and boys in the regions are involved more in the planning phase of SDGs.
Another says a platform and means must be created whereby SDGs monitoring and evaluation are institutionalized across the board for parliament and all offices, ministries and agencies.
Yet another states that “for sustained progress, implement a twin-track approach, with emphasis on gender equality and equity without ignoring specific gaps that require women’s empowerment, including ensuring that all members of parliament are trained on this approach”.
Swapo MP Cletus Sipapela said the report is really bad.
He said the committee comprises of young MPs of the National Council who have done a sloppy job. He also accused Kandjii of missing sessions for reasons unknown.
“This is a committee that comprises young members of parliament and you would want to see it in that direction but it’s messed up. It’s either the absence of the chairperson – and all work is pushed to the deputy chairperson,” said Sipapela.
“You need to put your house in order. We want you to bring your chairperson and see what is happening in the National Council. He has been absent and missed sessions. He must come and explain to us why he is always absent in all sessions. As young as they are, they should bring flesh to this skeleton that they brought to us.”
Meanwhile, Swapo chief whip Lebbius Tobias said the report seems to be a good report “but honestly towards the end, I think there is a mix-up.”
He said either the one who captured it happened to mix things up or the committee members themselves, who compiled the report, messed something up.
“I wish to humbly request the members to please just go back and double-check what they really wanted to put under recommendations. They should make it really clear. One can hardly understand what the recommendations want to say,” he advised.
In the absence of Kandjii, Booys responded that they acknowledged they let the house down with their “messy recommendations”.
“I acknowledge that there might have been an oversight on our side. The reporting finished product does not reflect the anticipated work we put in. I honourably accept what was proposed – that we take the report back and re-polish it and re-table it before the 30th of November,” Booys admitted.
The National Council chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams together with all members of parliament then agreed that the report be withdrawn and be re-tabled before November 30.