Swapo chief whip in the National Assembly Hambyuka Hamunyera has rebuked his party’s legislators, who last Thursday absconded parliament, saying they are doing a disservice to the electorate.
Out of the 64 Swapo members of parliament (MPs), only 14 of them, including deputy speaker Loide Kasingo, attended the Thursday parliamentary session.
This resulted in the session being adjourned due to a lack of quorum.
Vincent Mareka, Hamunyera, Agnes Kafula, Kletus Karondo, Kornelia Shilunga, Calle Schlettwein, Frans Kapofi, Hilma Nicanor, Verna Sinimbo, Veikko Nekundi, Maureen Hinda-Mbuende, Lucia Witbooi, Tobie Aupindi and Natalia /Goagoses were the only Swapo MPs in attendance on Thursday.
They were joined by the Popular Democratic Movement’s (PDM’s) Lucia Tjiveze, Nico Smit, Charmaine Tjirare, Mike Venaani, Elma Dienda, Hidipo Hamata and Yvette Araes, as well as NEFF MPs Longinus Iipumbu and Epafras Mukwiilongo.
“I am calling upon our members to do their campaigns during the weekend to avoid this thing of not attending to their parliamentary duties, as what they are doing is a disservice to the electorate. What they are doing now is abusing the platform,” Hamunyera said briefly yesterday.
Swapo members have gone into campaign mode after the party’s president Hage Geingob gave the green light to nominated candidates to kick-start their internal quests for top three and CC seats in the November elective congress.
The spectacle made its appearance in the Omaheke region last weekend.
Chief whip of PDM in parliament Vipua Muharukua said it is distasteful to see Swapo politicians always regarding positions as more important than the wellbeing of the people who put them in those positions.
“I have been in Omusati region, consulting communities on their need for agricultural reforms and subsidies. It is sad to see other leaders stealing the people’s time for personal gain and positions,” he said.
“What they forget is, no one cares about the Swapo congress, because what they forget is that whoever emerges will not be the president of Namibia.”
He added MPs must be in the parliament, addressing the plight of the Namibian – not in the regions, circulating brown envelopes.
The office of the speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, yesterday referred all queries to the office of the deputy speaker, Loide Kasingo, saying the speaker was out of the country; therefore, he could not comment.
Kasingo was yesterday unavailable for comment, as her phone went unanswered.
However, last week, she told an online newspaper she was treating the matter seriously, adding she was looking forward to an explanation from the chief whips this week as per the rules.
“Yes, it is a serious issue. There is a working rule and a working quorum for us to debate issues without voting – but unfortunately, we couldn’t reach the necessary 26 people. I really do not know what could be the issue,” she was quoted as saying.
“Normally, when this happens, we take it to the political party whips. I know there is a number from the executive component that is attending the UNGA, but it is a small number. The people who are inside the country should have attended; we could have reached a quorum. Come next week, we will take it up with their chief whips.”