Constitution is a covenant

Hailed as one of the most progressive constitutions in southern Africa, the benefit of freedom is yet to be felt by all.

08 February 2019 | Local News

Namibians are happy they have a constitution and are proud of its lofty promises, but feel it is yet to come to life to improve the lives of ordinary Namibians.

Namibia marks Constitution Day on 9 February each year.

The much-acclaimed Namibian constitution was adopted in 1990 with 71 signatories and provides a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state is governed.

Former lawmaker and social activist Rosa Namises says the provisions of the Namibian constitution are supposed to improve the lives of Namibians but that has not happened yet.

She believes that annual celebrations should actually lay bare practical examples of what was achieved for the ordinary Namibian in a certain time.

“We have not done that; all that we have is to show this is the building built by the Chinese lady in Karibib. This is the flat we have erected in Windhoek. This is the money that was stolen. It is only those things. So to me our constitution has not made a change in the lives of ordinary Namibians,” she said.

The ombudsman, Advocate John Walters, says the shameful fact that Namibians are dying of hepatitis proves that the government has failed to deliver the provisions of the constitution.

Walters says the constitution is indeed a living document but it remains the responsibility of the Namibian government to uplift the lives of its citizens.

“The constitution cannot improve the ordinary citizen's life. The constitution cannot provide houses, neither can it provide us adequate standards of living. That is not the job of the constitution.

“The constitution set the principles and standards with which the government should comply in order to make these rights real entitlements for the people. And the government has not done that, not as far as economic and social rights are concerned,” he says.

Walters refers to the fact that President Hage Geingob has declared the mushrooming of shacks a humanitarian crisis, saying it points to government failure to provide access to sanitation and housing.

“More than half of the population do not have access to toilets. In this modern world in Namibia, people are still killed by hepatitis E, a preventable disease. We fought for the right to vote and now our people cannot even exercise the right to vote,” he said.

He added that Namibians must ensure the constitution remains a living document.

Information and communication technology minister Stanley Simataa says the constitution must serve as a fundamental framework which guides all dimensions of the government's operations and obligations.

“That is how critical the constitution is. It is a covenant. There is no modern state that can function without a constitution.

“I know that some of our fellow citizens are frustrated, however they need to understand the complexities of what government is doing in an attempt to improve the livelihood of its citizens,” he says.

He adds that improving citizens' lives is an ongoing undertaking that will never reach its conclusion.

He believes there has been substantive improvement in the lives of Namibians even though the government has not managed to address the plight of all Namibians.


Similar News


Renewed calls to report, end GBV cases

1 hour ago | Local News

Renewed calls have been made for victims of gender-based violence (GBV) to be empowered to report it, and for coordinated action to stop the crime,...

Rundu has a livestock problem

1 hour ago | Local News

The Rundu town council has urged residents keeping livestock within the town boundaries to remove them.The council also warned farmers from surrounding villages that their...

Namibia e li potango miilongo yi na iikundaneki yamanguluka...

1 hour ago | Local News

Epangelo olya tsuwa omukumo opo li ninge oonkambadhala dhokuyambulapo omukalo gwokumona omauyelele ngele Namibia ota kalekepo onkatu ye, mpoka oshilongo shili ngashiingeyi momusholondondo...

Hengari suspended

10 hours ago | Local News

The Namibia Wildlife Resorts board has suspended the company’s managing director Zelna Hengari. The news follows after the board chairman Leonard Iipumbu, early in April...

Bipa millions still unrecovered

1 day - 23 April 2019 | Local News

The Business and Intellectual Property Authority (Bipa) says recovering the millions spent to buy a former bar in Wanaheda is proving to be a complicated...

UPM wants Rehoboth by-elections

6 days ago - 18 April 2019 | Local News

The United People's Movement (UPM) has called for by-elections to take place at Rehoboth, following the en masse suspension of the town's councillors last year.The...

Namvet plans court challenge

6 days ago - 18 April 2019 | Local News

The Namibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet) says it will soon launch a court challenge to continue its fight to get former SWATF/Koevoet soldiers recognised as...

More salvos fired at Namport

6 days ago - 18 April 2019 | Local News

The Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) has leapt to the defence of independent analyst Rainer Ritter, whose recent assertions about Namport's massive harbour investments were...

Namvet ta pangele okuya kompangu

6 days ago - 18 April 2019 | Local News

Ehangano lyoNamibia War Veterans Trust (Namvet) olya popi kutya otali ka ya kompangu moonkambadhala dhokukondjitha opo aakwiita nale yoSWATF/Koevoet ya dhidhilikwe onga oonakulwa aakulu.Omupopiliko gwoNamvet,...

Men urged to raise voice against GBV

1 week ago - 17 April 2019 | Local News

At least one in three Namibian women faces some form of violence from a man, which underlines the urgent need for men to take centre...

Latest News

Warning of dire food shortages

1 hour ago | Disasters

The latest Crop Prospects, Food Security and Drought Situation Report has predicted massive reductions for all crop-producing areas in the expected harvest season, including cereal...

Solving your challenges with remuneration

1 hour ago | Business

We live in an environment of continued cost-constraints, skills shortage and labour mobility. At the same time, there is pressure to improve productivity, and improve...

ACC: Budget not enough to...

1 hour ago | Economics

CATHERINE SASMAN The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) says the N$61.6 million budget proposed for its operations is woefully inadequate.The...

Do good for others

1 hour ago | Opinion

Human rights are needed to protect and preserve every individual's humanity. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clear in highlighting the basic rights and...

Violent Easter weekend

1 hour ago | Crime

The four-day Easter weekend was marred by a spate of violent crimes including a dozen reported sexual assaults and armed robberies, in addition to a...

Watch your mouth

1 hour ago | Politics

Only half of Namibians believe that they have the right of freedom of association, says an Afrobarometer policy paper titled 'Are Africans' freedoms slipping away?'...

E-tax rollout postponed again

1 hour ago | Economics

The finance ministry introduced a new electronic income-tax filing system in January, but deadlines are repeatedly being postponed.The date when the new system must become...

Managing fall armyworm

1 hour ago | Agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has formulated a framework for partnerships for the sustainable management of fall armyworm in Africa which will focus on...

Meat Board sub-committees meet

1 hour ago | Agriculture

The Livestock Producers' Organisation (LPO) is represented on various sub-committees of the Meat Board and these committees met to discuss issues affecting the sector. The...

Load More