LPM annoyed by Petroleum Commissioner for declining invitation

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Landless People’s Movement (LPM) has expressed disappointment with Maggy Shino, the Petroleum Commissioner, for declining an invitation from the party to make a presentation at its upcoming policy conference.

The invitation, extended to Shino by the LPM’s Deputy Leader and Chief Strategist, Henny Seibeb, aimed to shed light on Namibia’s oil and gas strategy, local economic empowerment and beneficiation.

Seibeb said the party regrets Shino’s response and labelled it as displaying a disregard for the nation’s citizens.

“Regrettably, your response to our invitation has been received with disappointment, exhibiting a disregard for our nation’s citizens, coupled with an insensitivity and arrogance unsuitable for your professional standards,” Seibeb remarked.

The Parliamentarian highlighted what the party perceived as a misreading and misquotation of relevant sections of the Public Service Act to justify Shino’s declination.

Shino, in her response, cited Section 30 (1) of the Public Service Act, 1995, stating, “Unfortunately, as public servants, we are prohibited from addressing political events”.

However, LPM contested this interpretation, providing an analysis of the specific section in question.

Seibeb emphasised the importance of disseminating information to a broader audience, noting that not all citizens can afford to attend exclusive conferences.

“Your decision potentially denies fellow citizens the right to be informed about the country’s policies, especially regarding critical matters like Namibia’s oil and gas strategy, local economic empowerment, and benefaction,” he said.

Furthermore, LPM urged Shino to reconsider her decision, citing past instances where officials participated in seminars to share insights.

“I am aware of concerns regarding senior civil servants serving in the Think Tank of the governing Swapo Party, and I believe your impartial input would be invaluable,” Seibeb concluded.

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