Swapo campaigns stall Parliament work

Obrein Simasiku

The work of the National Assembly is mounting and questions from opposition Members of Parliament remain unanswered as many Swapo MP are on internal party campaign.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi had to admit today that he was never faced with a situation like this in his many years of adjudicating the work house.

The MPs are concerned that lately Parliament members have been absent derailing the proceedings and creating delays in responding to questions and discussions raised.

“I have never seen something like this through my years sitting in this house. I am however assuring you all that I will take the responsibility and see to it that questions do not lapse. I will make time for the questions to be answered, and deal with the matter,” he said.

This was after Landless People’s Movement’s Henny Seibeb raised the concern that there is only 12 days left before parliament breaks. “When are these people who are not present going to respond to the agenda matters put to them, yet its only few days before we close. As a speaker you are looking at the situations but doing little to resolve,” said Seibeb, whose sentiments were backed by Popular Democratic Movement’s (PDM) Maximalliant Katjimune.

Recently, Seibeb held a press conference where he questioned the essence of the leave of absence which he said should be reviewed and defined thoroughly, and the effectiveness of the Speaker in enforcing the standing rules. “We have MPs, the likes of Prime Minister Saara Kuugongwelwa-Amadhila, her deputy Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Pohamba Shifeta, not to even to talk about Sophia Shaningwa, who have not attended any standing committee meeting; they have not been here for more than a month, but there are matters before them that need to be addressed. But there is never a day, you have seen Katjavivi react, turning a blind eye. The leave of absence should determine what type of leave you are taking and when you are likely to be back, for now it is vague,” he stressed.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Nandi-Ndaitwah, Shifeta, Shaningwa, including Deputy Minister of Gender and Social Welfare, Lucia Witbooi and many Swapo MPs are involved in internal party campaigns where they are vying for central committee positions as well as party vice president, secretary and deputy secretary general. As a result, many politicians under the banner of Swapo have been bunking parliament sessions.

Seibeb further wanted the house to review the rules to hold the Speaker of Parliament accountable when he overlooks transgressions. “Katjavivi has done so many errors, but nothing is done about it as if nothing happened. We need to put laws and regulations that can guide us on how to deal with him when he’s wrong, at what point should he continue making errors, while others especially we opposition we get punished or thrown out.” he suggested.

By Observer