Opposition parties to challenge Noa re-appointment

Andrew Kathindi

Opposition parties in the National Assembly will oppose a decision by this chambers to re-appoint Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Director General, Paulus Noa, and his second in charge, Deputy Director General, Erna van der Merwe, Windhoek Observer can reveal.

This was confirmed by Popular Democratic Movement Leader, McHenry Venaani, following a special session of the National Assembly today which approved President Hage Geingob’s nominations of Noa and van der Merwe.

“All the opposition [parties] together have just taken a decision that we are approaching the court on an urgent basis to nullify that decision,” Venaani tells Windhoek Observer. Noa and van der Merwe were approved by Swapo members for another five years as the National Assembly descended into chaos for a second day in a row.

The approval, which was motivated by Justice Minister, Yvonne Dausab, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa and International Relations and Cooperation Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, came as opposition leaders earlier walked out of the session.

Opposition leaders challenged the procedures, which were followed for them to meet for the special session after a memo calling for extension of the special session which started on Wednesday 27 July was sent out last night.

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) member, Vipuakuje Muharukua, maintains that the two-day special session had ended and that no motion for an extension was procedurally given. He adds that the session in which Noa was consequently approved for another five years was illegal.

“Parliamentarians were informed in Parliamentary Chambers, through a motion as to whom the President has nominated for the positions of Director-General as well as Deputy Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission. As the appointing authority, Parliament ought to have had prior knowledge of the identities of the individuals, but critically also their resumé and record of their performances at the helm of the Anti-Corruption Commission,” says Muharukua.

“A Special Session cannot be called by the Secretary; furthermore, it cannot be called in anticipation of a proclamation by the President; and lastly, members must be given due notice to attend Parliament.”

Venaani earlier this week argued that his party would oppose the re-appointment of Noa, stating that he was ineffective, impartial and has allegedly campaigned for Swapo on social media.

Meanwhile, the Swapo members, in the absence of opposition members, also approved the appointment of Elsie T Nghikembua to replace Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Chairperson, Notemba Tjipueja, and Joram K Rukambe and Dr. Emmerentia Leonard as commissioners as nominated by the President.

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