A bigger parliament, but so what?

31 January 2020 | Opinion

When Swapo used its two-thirds majority to make sweeping amendments to the country's constitution in 2014, its members defended this move tooth and nail.

The amendments helped balloon government's wage bill by creating, among others, the position of vice-president and increasing the National Assembly from 72 to 96 voting members.

With MPs in that house earning an average annual salary of about N$600 000, the salary bill of the National Assembly must have increased by a whopping N$14.4 million per year.

The expansion of parliamentary seats was never properly justified, except to say it was “in keeping with many Commonwealth parliamentary practices”.

Now President Hage Geingob, who was an active player in the 2014 constitutional amendments, is planning to downsize his cabinet, come March 21. He cited cost as the key influence of his decision.

This is a scenario of robbing Peter to pay Paul. What difference would it make to downsize the cabinet while parliament was increased?

And, apart from the flimsy Commonwealth compatibility excuse, how has parliament become a better servant of the people with its increased army of often absent MPs?

The only notable change we have seen in the past five years is that MPs have become savvy with their gadgets on which they browse X-rated adult content sites.

Neighbours Botswana, who are our peers in every sense of the word, have a parliament of 65 seats. They have adopted a culture of doing more with less – something they have been doing with finesse and absolute efficiency.

We must thus interrogate the logic of having increased seats in our National Assembly, which on the face of it seemed to have been a ploy to accommodate as many comrades in the well-paying house of legislature.

The irony is that government increased seats in parliament and immediately started moaning about how its wage bill gobbles up over 50% of the national budget.

If President Geingob wants to salvage his legacy in the next five years, he must be bold enough and reverse parts of these amendments, especially those that have worsened our financial situation.

Similar News

 

EDITORIAL: Mitigate Covid with productive measures

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | Opinion

We are reliably informed that plans are afoot to tighten Covid-19 regulations in the coming days, as the country undergoes its most deadly spell of...

A fact check: AstraZeneca vaccine still safe, really?

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | Opinion

WERNER GERTZOn 11 March, during an official visit to President Geingob, the World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Namibia, Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses, made the following...

The agreement that resolves nothing

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | Opinion

YARUKEEKURO S. NDOROKAZE Dear Ambassador Beck,I am Yarukeekuro Steven Ndorokaze, a maturing male from Oruuua, Ovitoto Area of the Omatako Constituency in the Otjozondjupa Region,...

EDITORIAL: Swallow the ego

3 days ago - 10 June 2021 | Opinion

“This is the home of the brave. But there's so many people full of greed.” These are lyrics from the song ‘Divided We Fall’ by...

Racism and inequality

4 days ago - 09 June 2021 | Opinion

Racism, as has been said in various ways and at various times in this space in the newspaper, is abhorrent and those still finding themselves...

Mental well-being suits us all

4 days ago - 09 June 2021 | Opinion

DR JOHN STEYTLERMental health is a subject which we are only starting to scratch the surface of in Namibia and it is not talked about...

Leveraging technology for effective employee onboarding

4 days ago - 09 June 2021 | Opinion

JONAS D. ILEKAWhether you run a restaurant, IT start-up or a large corporation with various branches across the country, employee onboarding is by far one...

My Voice

5 days ago - 08 June 2021 | Opinion

Shindume Herman - Gabriel Taapopi Secondary SchoolI feel like there should be a balance between traditional and new media, because some of us live at...

EDITORIAL: Namibia too soft on controversial churches

5 days ago - 08 June 2021 | Opinion

Christianity is becoming the butt of every joke lately. Infiltrated by greedy celebrity wannabes who lie through their rotten teeth to steal from the poor,...

EDITORIAL

6 days ago - 07 June 2021 | Opinion

You don’t need to be an economy boffin to know that Namibia is in deep trouble when it comes to debts, jobs and the financial...

Latest News

Minimum wage discussions continue at...

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | Economics

The newly established Wage Commission is in Rundu to investigate the possibility of introducing a national minimum wage in the country.At a meeting held at...

Career partnerships – mentor, coach,...

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | Columns

Chaze NalisaA few weeks ago, I shared an article titled ‘Network is a Currency’. In today’s piece, I would like to draw attention to network...

Aiming to make a positive...

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | People

Enzo AmueleBeatus Amadhila was recently appointed Powercom’s new chief executive officer, with effect from the start of June.“While I had to hit the ground running,...

2021’s breakout star

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | Art and Entertainment

WINDHOEKMICHAEL KAYUNDEWith a track record that could impress anyone willing to pay attention, elia da vincii continues to develop himself on all levels. The song...

SA's rooibos tea on EU...

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | Business

Like champagne, roquefort and Kalamata olives, South Africa's world-famous rooibos tea has been added to a European Union (EU) list of protected agricultural products and...

Capricorn Group gives women’s cricket...

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | Sports

Staff Reporter Capricorn Group and its subsidiary Capricorn Asset Management, and Capricorn Private Wealth, sent off the Namibian national women’s cricket team – The Eagles...

Group sales manager shares his...

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | People

Staff Reporter Ian Grassow is a proud Namibian, born in Walvis Bay, and is currently in the Group Sales division of Paratus Namibia.Ian has been...

When challenges become accomplishments

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | People

Wetumwene Shikage Simone Mouton is a senior consultant at Alexander Forbes (AF) Financial Services She was born in a small village in the...

EDITORIAL: Mitigate Covid with productive...

2 days ago - 11 June 2021 | Opinion

We are reliably informed that plans are afoot to tighten Covid-19 regulations in the coming days, as the country undergoes its most deadly spell of...

Load More