MPs to be taught protocol
May 8, 2015, 8:36am
MPs to be taught protocol
By Shinovene Immanuel
MEMBERS of parliament will as from next month be taught how to behave to avoid embarrassment during their national duties.
This was confirmed by deputy speaker in the National Assembly Loide Kasingo during a vote on the ministry of international relations budget.
The decision was made after lawmakers, for the second year running, asked the minister of international relations, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, to come up with workshops to train them in etiquette.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said her ministry is only willing to facilitate the protocol workshops for MPs but cannot be the organiser since that task should be carried out by the National Assembly who can allocate funds for it.
Kasingo suggested that the training be held in the second week of June, a proposal that was accepted by Nandi-Ndaitwah, who doubles as deputy prime minister.
The decision to train the lawmakers how to behave in public was taken after the youth minister, Jerry Ekandjo, again requested Nandi-Ndaitwah to train them how to handle themselves in public.
Ekandjo, who was contributing to the vote of the international relations ministry on Wednesday, said they need to be taught how to behave in public, which includes eating something before going to events to avoid filling up your plate with food.
He said it is also important for lawmakers to know the norms in other countries such as when to hug or to shake hands.
Ekandjo gave an example of state receptions where he saw MPs filling up their plates to an extent that they could not walk with the plate without food falling off. These were labelled 'kilimanjaro plates' by former gender minister Rosalia Nghidinwa during the budget debate last year.
Deputy environment minister Tommy Nambahu also said last year that there is a need to educate politicians on etiquette.
“I see it even at functions here. You see people with bags, putting all kinds of things into their bags to take home. How do you do that as a diplomat?” he asked.
Meanwhile, deputy minister of land reform Bernadus Swartbooi has asked the international relations ministry to do more to promote the interest of its diplomats at the United Nations. He said some of the officials there informed him that the Namibian government appears not to help Namibians at the UN to grow.
Meanwhile the deputy land reform minister has also warned government to avoid being turned into a babysitter of businesspeople, making them dependent on government assistance.
Swartbooi made the remarks during the ministerial vote of the ministry of agriculture, specifically referring to the issue of empowering Namibians through the outcome of projects like the finalisation of the N$2,8 billion Neckartal Dam.
He said the government cannot continue to babysit businesspeople, adding that a graduation into being independent is necessary to bring in new people to be helped by the state.
Swartbooi said the government should not sell the land in the vicinity of the Neckartal Dam project to foreigners but to Namibians who in turn can source their partners somewhere else.
Agriculture minister John Mutorwa informed the new member of parliament that he agrees that the land should not be sold to foreigners.
He however reminded Swartbooi that the decision on who gets land is made by the ministry he now works for.