Parliament divided over street children selling wooden products

Stefanus Nashama

Professor Peter Katjavivi, the Speaker of the National Assembly struggled to control members of Parliament due to a heated debate yesterday concerning children roaming the streets selling wooden products and begging for money and food.

A motion concerning the matter was brought before the National Assembly by Elma Dienda, a member of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM).

The debate broke out among members, particularly between the Minister of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Social Welfare, Doreen Sioka and Dienda concerning the matter.

According to Sioka, the matter is in the hands of the government, with a committee established to discuss it.

She objected to the motion, saying that it was not worth it for Dienda to table a motion while the matter was in the hands of the government.

The minister also said the member should wait until the Ministry brings the report to the house, concerning the matter and the outcome of the committees’ engagement.

“The reason I object to this motion is because the committees are already dealing with the matter,” Sioka justified.

In response, Dienda attacked and asked why the Minister had to wait until she brought the motion before the house before reporting about the situation.

“If you know your so-called committees are dealing with this issue, why do you not want to report to the house,” she questioned.

The debate got heated and Katjavivi had to call for order as members exchanged heated words. He had to call on members to vote to determine whether the motion should proceed or be rejected since it was being dealt with by the government.

He advised the two members, Sioka and Dienda to meet and discuss the matter. He requested that the Minister report to the house about the issue next week.

Meanwhile, the PDM’s Vipuakuje Muharukua stressed that members did not need to vote and suggested the two concerned members engage each other on the matter.

Dienda, who during the debate said she did not care even if she was to be voted out eventually agreed to the proposal to see the minister and discuss the matter.

“I do not have a problem with that proposal Honourable Speaker,” she said.

The PDM Leader, McHenry Venaani supported the proposal for the members to discuss the matter and added that the whole world’s eyes are on Namibia due to the death of the head of state.

In the meantime, the matter remains standing and awaits the minister’s response to report back to the house next week.

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