Vice-Presidency would be duplication of OPM: Riruako

14 Aug 2014 13:50pm
WINDHOEK, 14 AUG (NAMPA) - Member of the National Assembly (NA) and National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) member, Addy Riruako says the creation of a vice-presidency will create financial implications for Namibia.
Speaking in the NA during a debate on the Namibian Constitution Third Amendment Bill on Wednesday, Riruako said the presidency and the creation of a vice-president position would not a problem, but only if the positions of Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister are done away with because this would mean a duplication of functions and duties.
“The financial implication of this duplication is too much to contemplate…. On the issue of the amendment of the Constitution, the question that boggles everybody’s mind is what necessitated the constitutional amendments,” he said.
Riruako added that the Namibian nation was not consulted by Cabinet on the decision to amend the Constitution.
He cautioned law enforcement and development role-players to guard against constitutional amendments that might create a situation whereby every new president in waiting can bring about changes to Namibia’s laws.
Amongst the over 40 changes, the Third Constitutional Amendment Bill proposes the amendment of Article 32 of the Constitution for the creation of an office for a vice-president, and seeks to rearrange the hierarchy of succession.
It also makes provision for the President to appoint the head of the Intelligence Services, and for an increase in the composition of the National Assembly from 72 to 96 members.
“It is very worrisome to learn that Namibia today can afford to increase Parliament and the National Council by so many members. As a matter of principle, we don’t have a problem with it. But only if the country can economically sustain that. Looking at the bigger picture of our country today, where is this money coming from for the additional members?” Riruako wanted to know, noting that Government can hardly increase grants for pensioners.
“We have quite a number of problems that are besetting us - poverty, mass housing, education and health which are not attended to because of lack of funds,” he said.