WINDHOEK - The leader of the official opposition PDM, McHenry Venaani, on Wednesday said the ruling party Swapo does not have an agenda to change the country because there is just a continuation of bills from the previous year that are being brought to the house.
During an interview with journalists outside parliament on Wednesday, Venaani said all the 14 bills being brought to the National Assembly this year are from the previous years.
The 14 bills lined up to be tabled during this year’s session of Parliament are the Divorce Bill, Legal Practitioners Act Amendment Bill, Ombudsman Bill, Magistrates’ Courts Amendment Bill, Combating of Rape Amendment Bill, Child Justice Bill, High Court Amendment Bill (Rule 108 Amendment), Combating of Torture in Persons Bill, Electronic Transactions Bill, Bank of Namibia Bill, Namibia Post and Telecom Holdings Dismantling Bill, Control of Importation of Dairy Products and Substitutes Amendment Bill, Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil Amendment and Maritime Authority Bill.
“If you look at the bills passed and lined up for 2019, how do they change the lives of young people? There is no bill that addresses free tertiary education and access to erven,” he said, adding that the agenda “does not address the trajectory of young Namibians”.
With Geingob having declared informal settlements a humanitarian crisis, it is a pity that none of the 14 bills set for tabling are aimed at addressing the housing dilemma in the country, the PDM leader said.
“Swapo has been promising the eradication of shacks, but there is no bill that addresses this,” he added.
Venaani said the opposition will come up with motions that will address issues Namibians face.
He said the bloated government structure and the ensuing public service bill will not address the needs of the people.
He said President Hage Geingob’s speech at Wednesday’s opening of parliament was a normal opening speech that did not touch on a number of areas of socio-economic challenges facing the country and particularly the youth.
Venaani also accused the Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter Katjavivi, of lack of impartiality in the house.
Katjavivi had stated: “Let me also take this opportunity to amplify the words of the United Nations Secretary General (António Guterres) who commended you for your wise leadership, both at home and abroad. Indeed, the world is taking note of your wise council. As you preside over the affairs at home, as you deal with some of the issues confronting us, in our region, the Southern African Development Community (SADC); on the continental level; as well as beyond the continent of Africa, as a country, we derive joy from your exemplary leadership. I think we need to acknowledge that and simply say, well done Mr President.”
Katjavivi’s statement was followed by ululation and a standing ovation by some of those in attendance.
According to Venaani, Katjavivi overstepped his boundaries and the Speaker cannot say Geingob did a great job when Guterres was never in Namibia.
“He has not addressed the question of Zimbabwe, which is reeling from violence. The silent diplomacy of SADC is not helping Zimbabwe in any way. So why would I stand up and clap hands?” Venaani said. - Additional reporting Nampa