NA should scrutinise Bills: Nudo

18 Jan 2016 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 18 JAN (NAMPA) - The National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) says the manner in which Bills are tabled and passed through both the National Assembly (NA) and National Council (NC) is of concern.
The party is further dismayed by the quality of debates in both houses of Parliament and the content of the final product (Acts), as “this shows that law makers put zero effort in properly researching these documents”.
Nudo spokesperson Joseph Kauandenge said in a media statement on Sunday, some bills are an extension of the former oppressive regime agenda which makes sure that the 'haves' continue to accumulate more wealth.
“It is a given fact that laws have been passed and ratified in these houses over the past decades that have made our people even poorer and vulnerable.
“It is regrettable and a travesty of justice that more often the task of formulating these laws are left in the hands of consultants who often have their own agendas,” he said.
Kauandenge went on to say that the laws are read halfway and in a rush, and then ratified without taking time to understand their implications for the future generation's sake.
“The sad reality however is that if some opposition parties’ members question the wisdom, timing and content of some of these Bills, they are subjected to name-calling and shouted at,” he stated.
Kauandenge highlighted with great concern the Regional Councils Amendment Bill, which was passed in the NA in 2015.
“Having perused through this Bill, it is clear that its aim is to please and stroke the ego of the current minister (Urban and Rural Development) in as far as giving her (Sophia Shaningwa) too much power is concerned, often at the detriment of those duly elected councillors,” he stated.
He added that it is saddening to note that this bill sought to give excessive powers to the line minister to fire councillors and suspend municipal councils if she is apparently convinced that there is a transgression of sort.
“This is very dangerous to give the line minister that mush power as in the long run there is no proposed remedy in place that will protect councillors from the wrath of the said minister, if she or he has personal issues with such councillors and want to get rid of them,” he said.
Kaundenge added that it was time that lawmakers earned their salaries by taking time and reading Bills with the intention of debating them critically and ensuring that any bill that is passed is relevant and in the best interest of the people of the country.