New MPs Should Not Raise Irrelevant Points

23 Mar 2015 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 23 MAR (NAMPA) – Recently sworn in Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) Professor Peter Katjavivi has advised the new Members of Parliament (MP) to not raise irrelevant points of order during debates in the House.
Katjavivi raised this concern during the weeklong induction workshop for the Members of sixth Parliament that started here on Monday.
“We will be giving you information relating to the amended code of conduct of the NA as well as the revised standing rules and orders,” Katjavivi informed the MPs.
The Speaker explained that the purpose of this workshop is to enable MPs to study the two documents so that when they discuss them, they will converse with background knowledge on the critical issues.
Of great concern regarding the rules and orders, Katjavivi noted, is the issue of members raising irrelevant points of order.
He said this is a waste of time and often self-ridicule by MPs.
“Before jumping on a point of order, MPs should seriously consider why they need to intervene. Points of order are parliamentary devices that are meant to enrich debate but also instigate disruptions in the business of the House,” he said.
The induction workshop is structured in a way that MPs are guided by qualified and experienced persons on various topics aimed at deepening insight into parliamentary affairs. Some of these resourceful and experienced persons are, Advocate Bience Gawanas who presented a topic on the importance of service delivery and Advocate John Walters who spoke to the MPs about human rights and the Namibian constitution.
Other experts include retired Statistician John Steytler who will deliver a presentation on understanding poverty and its dimension in Namibia, as well as Governor of the Development Bank of Namibia, Ipumbu Shiimi, who will talk about development tools required to address poverty.
Katjavivi further informed MPs that parliament is an important place for debating on major issues of public interest and thus, exposure and training of this nature is necessary and needed.
The debates in parliament range from ideology, culture, religion, gender, generation, social class, internalised experiences and ambition.