Landless People’s Movement (LPM) leader Bernadus Swartbooi has slammed motions tabled in parliament by some members of parliament, saying they are “weak, not well articulated, not scientific in their outlook and are driven in casting blame”.
Swartbooi was speaking at the opening of the one-day party’s parliamentary caucus themed “Discussion on Urban Housing Crisis: Adequate, Secure and Affordable Housing in Namibia” at parliament on Monday.
“We have listened to some political parties tabling motions in parliament and to be honest sometimes we just hope they must just be quiet because the motions don’t make sense, the motions are not well articulated, the motions are not scientific in their outlook, the motions are driven in casting blame instead of addressing the concerns of the people and therefore to result in a solution for the people, Swartbooi said.
“We think motions in parliament must not be blame games but resolutions for social issues and that is the difference we want to articulate,” added the outspoken party leader.
Swartbooi also took a swipe at other opposition parties in parliament saying that most of them have become subsidiaries of the ruling party Swapo.
“The parliamentary standing committees are non-functional. Today as we speak only LPM, PDM and NEFF are not part of that system of co-optation in respect of the parliamentary committee system,” Swartbooi.
Meanwhile, opposition parties in the National Assembly (NA) in July this year threatened court action against Swapo over the composition of parliamentary committees after parliamentarians failed to agree on the nomination of members.
At the time, the opposition accused Swapo of trying to influence the composition of the parliamentary committees.
As parties with the majority of backbenchers, the opposition wanted to have an upper hand in terms of the nomination of new members to serve on the parliamentary committees that primarily serve as oversight bodies.
However, parliament went ahead to form parliamentary standing committees without the composition of four opposition that includes the LPM, PDM, NEFF and the RDP.
According to the internal arrangements of the National Assembly, at the beginning of each parliament, the assembly shall appoint a standing committee that shall consist of no fewer than eight members, provided all parties in the assembly are represented.
The National Assembly currently has eight standing committees. They are the committee of public accounts, constitutional and legal affairs, foreign affairs, defence and security, economics and public administration, natural resources, human resources and community development, gender equality, social development and family affairs, as well as that of information, communication, technology and innovation.
In the past, these committees were dominated by Swapo members due to their overall majority in parliament, a scenario Venaani of PDM said will not be happening this time around.