ACC’s boss, Parliament debate on hold . . . following chaos in August House

Andrew Kathindi

The debate on the re-appointment of Director–General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Paulus Noa, is indefinitely on hold after Parliament descended into chaos.

Swapo’s Party’s Chief Whip, Hambyuka, Hamunyela, proposed an “end” to the debate after nearly two hours into the debate. “I move in terms of rule 106 A of the standing rules and order that the question be now put to the speaker to close the debate.”

The motion, which the Speaker tried to correct as not a motion, was not received well by the members of the Nati0nal Assembly with Speaker of Peter Katjavivi, stating that “In light of this, we adjourn the house until further notice.”

On Tuesday afternoon, 27 July, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa, tabled a “motion” for the August House to discuss and approve Noa and his second in charge, Erna van der Merwe’s re-appointment. The two have been nominated by President Hage Geingob to continue at ACC for the next five years.

The National Assembly met for a special two-day session after an indefinite break due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases.

NA’s Spokesperson, David Nahogandja, told Windhoek Observer that the motion has lapsed and on hold indefinitely but that “Parliament” will offer an explanation tomorrow on the way forward.

Meanwhile, several opposition parties are also questioning the selection of the nominees submitted for the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) posts, among them that of the new nominee for the Chair, Elsie Nghikembua, with about five years standing as Commissioner.

All people’s party (APP) Leader, Ignatius Shixwameni, calls into question the integrity of the ECN.

“The electoral Act as it is currently lacking integrity. It is questionable whether they are acting for a political party or not. You can see from the correspondence we are having that the ECN has an integrity problem. Either people must resign from their political parties before they become electoral commissioners.”

The other item on the agenda for the day, which is the re-appointment of the ACC heads was not discussed before the adjournment. Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) Leader, McHenry Venaani, had said that he “would oppose Geingob’s”. He accused Noa of being compromised as a Swapo member adding he has been ineffective.

“We are going to vehemently argue against the reappointment of Noa. He has been ineffective, he has stated time again that he does not need the job. He refused to investigate the August 26, he recused himself on the oil storage case and a number of other issues,” Venaani said.

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