National Assembly Speaker, Peter Katjavivi has called on all Namibians to respect and guard the country’s constitution, which is a fundamental aspect that governs the rights and freedom of all citizens.
“Let us continue to respect and guard the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia, so as to galvanize peace, stability and harmony in our country”, the speaker echoed in commemoration of the Namibian constitution which was adopted on the very same day in 1990. On 9 February 1990, a constituent assembly consisting of 72 elected representatives from various political parties partake in its adoption,” Katjavivi said.
Further adding that the constitution created a political culture of respect and a common commitment to national development that served Namibia well and should be preserved.
“It is now exactly 33 years since the members of the constituent assembly agreed to put their signatures on the most powerful document in Namibian history, the law of the land, a living document we all proudly call Our Constitution”, said Katjavivi
Since then, the speaker said, the 9th of February is annually observed on the Namibian calendar as one of the most significant days in the annals of our history.
“Every year on this day, we pause for a moment and reflect on this important document, which serves as the blueprint of our existence and which also guarantees our basic fundamental freedoms and rights”. He said.
The day is celebrated because the Namibian constitution allows citizens to be part of the decision-making processes on how and who should govern them.
“We do this through democratically electing our representatives whom we entrust with the responsibilities of leading our country’, katjavivi highlighted.
The speaker stated that Namibians will forever remain indebted to Namibia’s founding fathers and mothers for crafting the constitution within a remarkable period of time and unanimously agreeing to it.
While also pointing out that Namibia’s living constitution is hailed by the world as one of the most progressive Constitutions. To keep the spirit and aspirations of our constitution, the speaker emphasized that each and every Namibian should strive and endeavour for equality and inclusivity for all, across all genders and age groups, especially, the previously deprived and disadvantaged.
Meanwhile, Katjavivi also highlighted that parliament has made strides in gender parity, 49 percent of female MPs and 51 percent of male MPs said to be in the house. Which is often referred to as the zebra style of political governance.
The number of young parliamentarians has also improved significantly. The constitution is said to have allowed Parliament to enact progressive laws since independence and repeal apartheid-era discriminatory legal instruments, ensuring that all people are treated equally before the law.
The Constitution protects fundamental human rights and liberties. The speaker said it’s an absolute right that is enjoyed by every citizen of the country. In order to inculcate a culture of democracy and leadership in young people, adding that the National Assembly proudly hosts the Children’s Parliament every year while the National Council hosts the Junior National Council.
These initiatives he said, serve as platforms for Namibian children to address challenges they face, to recommend to the government what needs to be done and to gain experience in democratic parliamentary processes.
Furthermore, he lauded Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), one of its development partners who helped the Parliament to ensure that the constitution is available on various software platforms. “We are delighted to benchmark our Constitution across the world because of the provisions of there-in that purposefully ensure freedom, equality and justice”, determined Katjavivi.