More perks for Venaani....… opposition leader will welcome second-hand car
Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani has welcomed a decision by President Hage Geingob to approve the long-awaited establishment of the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition, which will see the parliamentarian entitled to more perks.
“This matter has a history of nearly four years and the Public Office Bearers Commission out of their benchmarking recommended this, to which the President granted approval nearly three years ago in tandem with commonwealth practice. In fact, we as a country are late, as our regional peers are far ahead,” Venaani said yesterday.
“We welcome this development and as I alluded to the POBC two years ago, I am ready to use a second-hand vehicle.” Venaani is expected to receive, among others, an official vehicle, with a dedicated driver and office personnel. At the moment, Venaani earns a package of about N$996 006 per year.
This includes a housing allowance of N$159 222 and municipal allowances of N$48 240.
Minister in the Presidency Christine //Hoebes announced in the National Assembly this week that Geingob gave the approval in line with Article 32 (7) of the Namibian Constitution.
“After having engaged in consultations with the necessary stakeholders after receiving the Second Review Report of the Public Office Bearers Commission, under the chairmanship of Judge Sylvester Mainga, His Excellency the President has approved the report and the resultant recommendations thereof, as a means to provide adequate tools of trade to public office bearers, especially to the leader of the official opposition,” //Hoebes said. According to Article 32 (7), subject to the provisions of this constitution and of any other law of application in this matter, the President may in consultation with the Cabinet and on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission (PSC) constitute any office in the public service of Namibia not otherwise provided for by any other law.
The article further says the President may appoint any person to such office and also determine the tenure of any person so appointed as well as the terms and conditions of his or her service.
According to //Hoebes, Geingob is on record for supporting the building of a strong democratic architecture in Namibia.
In this context, she said, the institutionalisation of the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition is an indispensable requirement in a parliamentary democracy.
//Hoebes said the decision for the establishment of the office was benchmarked on democracies around the world, especially in Commonwealth countries.
“As one of the countries built on strong democratic foundations, it is thus significant that Namibia follows the practices as applies to most countries around the world,” she told lawmakers.
She noted the establishment of the office carries financial implications.
In this regard, //Hoebes said the National Assembly has made budgetary provisions for the office.
“I call upon all members of this August Assembly to support the establishment of the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition as approved by President Geingob.”
Political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah said the establishment of the office was a right move in line with the country’s democracy.
“The official opposition is a second layer government, in terms of the electoral mandate, as a government in waiting. As such the move is an indication that the President has perhaps realised the important role the official opposition, as a co-government, has in our democracy,” he said.
However, he said, it will come at cost considering all the perks and benefits it comes with. “I also hope that now that the official opposition is part of the gravy train, it will not neutralise its stance on issues,” he said.
2020-06-18 10:21:13 | 25 days ago