MPs under fire

15 April 2019 | Government

Members of Parliament (MPs) who are late for work, read newspapers, fiddle on their mobile phones throughout sittings and desert their duties halfway through sessions are reducing the House to a laughing stock.

This is according to deputy director of social commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah.

He said the growing tendency of MPs deviating from legislating to other acts during sessions in the National Assembly shows that the politicians have no regard for the mandate for which it was established. He went on to say MPs are expected to lead by example, inside and outside the chambers of the assembly.

“They must know that because it is a public house, they are subjected to scrutiny in the sense that the public is watching what they are doing,” he added. Kamwanyah's comments come just a few days after safety minister, Charles Namoloh was caught on camera seemingly watching a movie instead of participating for around 15 minutes. Not too long ago, he was also seen playing games on his gadget.

Approached for comment, Namoloh was surprised by the fuss around him watching the video during a parliamentary session.

Namoloh said he was attending to more important things, rather than listening to a contribution by Workers Revolutionary Party MP Salmon Fleermuys. “Who was speaking? Fleermuys. How do I listen to Fleermuys?” he asked.

He then wanted to be informed of the specific legislation prohibiting him and other MPs from watching videos during sittings, saying he was keeping abreast of the latest developments in geopolitics.

“I want you to bring me that law. Who said we cannot click on a news (clip) and what is the essence or the importance of the discussion? I am a general. Do you understand?” said a fuming Namoloh.

Recently, trade minister Tjekero Tweya was caught visiting dating sites while proceedings were under way.

To vindicate himself, he said at the time: “What kind of a man would I be if I denied your inquiry. I humbly apologise for being a red-blooded member of the male species of Homo sapiens. I rebuke myself for not following my own code of conduct.”

Several other MPs are seen reading newspapers during sessions daily, instead of attending to the business at hand, which is against the decorum of the House according to its Speaker, Peter Katjavivi.

Katjavivi indicated that he would reprimand MPs who engage in non-parliamentary conduct during sessions.

Katjavivi said self-respecting MPs would not play games or be on dating sites during sessions.

Governance researcher Frederico Links echoed Kamwanyah's sentiments, adding that the unimpressive conduct by MPs is nothing new. He said Namibians are to blame as MPs have been allowed to rest on their laurels for far too long.

“This is happening but people aren't demanding better even though these parliamentarians are not directly accountable to the people,” he said.

He said MPs feel untouchable and go scot-free in most cases because they are not directly accountable to the electorate.

Consequently, the onus lies on political parties to call their members to order, Links noted.

The National Assembly is the principal legislative authority which has the power to make and repeal laws.

These developments come a few months after President Hage Geingob said 2019 will be the 'Year of Accountability'.

When Geingob opened the ninth session of the sixth parliament eight weeks ago, he called for due diligence in the law-making process. “Parliamentarians should be paragons of virtue,” Geingob told the MPs.

“Let your attendance and punctuality be a source of pride rather than allowing tardiness and absenteeism to be a source of your shame,” he said.

NAMPA

Similar News

 

Access still denied

1 day - 22 October 2019 | Government

Although all hands are on deck to put the final touches to the long-awaited Access to Information (ATI) Bill for tabling in parliament this year...

NIP under fire for wasted N$7m

1 week ago - 16 October 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste is deeply concerned about the more than N$7 million spent on disciplinary procedures and acting allowances at the Namibia Institute...

Jooste tackles 'suspension culture'

1 week ago - 11 October 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says some state-owned enterprises continue to defy a standing order that CEO and senior management suspensions should only take place...

NBC 'not immune to retrenchments'

1 week ago - 10 October 2019 | Government

Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) board chairperson Sven Thieme has rubbished claims of favouritism at the state broadcaster and also made it clear that the broadcaster...

Salary woes hit RCC workers

3 weeks ago - 02 October 2019 | Government

Workers of the embattled Roads Contractor Company claim that government, through the ministries of finance and works, stopped paying their salaries at the end of...

Omuthiya CEO saga deepens

3 weeks ago - 01 October 2019 | Government

An Ondangwa Labour Court arbitrator and urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga have both advised the Omuthiya town council to follow the right procedures,...

Govt is too secretive – Walters

1 month - 18 September 2019 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKES Ombudsman John Walters believes the coming access to information law will be of cardinal importance,...

Boards key to public enterprises

1 month - 17 September 2019 | Government

Appointing the right board members is pivotal in the success of any public enterprise, says the minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste. Jooste was...

SOEs a burden - Jooste

1 month - 13 September 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says state-owned enterprises in Namibia, with the exception of a few, have failed to optimally deliver on their mandates.“In some...

19 apply, one shortlisted

1 month - 09 September 2019 | Government

The Rundu town council is set to conduct an interview today with a shortlisted candidate for its vacant CEO position. This was confirmed by council...

Latest News

Upbeat Calle preaches recovery

6 hours ago | Economics

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein says the domestic economy is projected to gradually emerge from the recession in 2020 with a moderate growth rate of about...

Shanghala plays the artful dodger

6 hours ago | Politics

CATHERINE SASMAN Justice minister Sacky Shanghala, who is alleged to have booked out electronic voting machines (EVMs) that have been missing since...

ACC probes exam 'cheating'

6 hours ago | Health

The Health Professions Council of Namibia (HPCNA) has roped in the services of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate allegations that cheating had rocked the...

O&L/Dinapama deal commendable

6 hours ago | Columns

The Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group recently procured casual corporate golf shirts for its 6 000 employees from local manufacturer Dinapama. This is no ordinary...

Stable Botswana to vote in...

6 hours ago | Economics

Susan Njanji - Botswana votes today in the most closely fought general election in the history of the Southern African country, long known as...

Geingob off to Sochi

6 hours ago | International

President Hage Geingob has left for Russia to attend the first session of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi tomorrow.The summit is expected to be attended...

Life for plotting husband's murder

6 hours ago | Justice

Rachel Rittmann (49), who arranged the murder of her husband Rudolph Rittmann (34) for financial gain and freedom to continue a love affair, was sentenced...

In Putin’s own words

6 hours ago | Economics

The Russian news agency TASS conducted an interview with president Vladimir Putin ahead of the Russia-Africa Summit, a copy of which was provided to Business7...

Summit showcases growing clout

6 hours ago | Economics

Thibaut Marchand - President Vladimir Putin has called the first ever summit with dozens of African leaders "unprecedented" as Sochi prepared to host over 3...

Load More