Public asked to make proposals for amendment of Maintenance Act

18 Mar 2016 12:20pm
WINDHOEK, 18 MAR (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Justice has called for public input on proposed amendments of the Maintenance Act (Act No. 3 of 2003).
Justice Minister Albert Kawana, in a media statement issued Friday called on the public to make proposals that will contribute to the effectiveness of the Act.
Once proposals are received, there will be a Cabinet submission before the amendments are tabled in Parliament.
On the top of the list for input from the public, is the issue of how to deal with fathers who temper with their Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) test and those who assist them.
Other proposals deal with fathers that go into hiding in order to avoid maintenance obligations, as well as those who dump their children with grandparents and other relatives, while neglecting to support the children with the maintenance they received from their partners.
Another burning issue is what should be done to parents who neglect maintaining their children when they have the means to do so.
Adult children, who fail to maintain their parents when they have the means to do so, should also be addressed in the Act, according to Kawana.
He called on the public to propose if the current penal provisions should be revised, as well as any other suggestion that might contribute to the effectiveness of the Maintenance Act. The due date for proposals is 24 March 2016.
Kawana last year issued a stern warning in Parliament to individuals who are failing to honour their maintenance responsibilities.
He stated that maintenance officers will have court orders to publish the photos of defaulters, according to a report contained in local daily, The Namibian.
Maintenance officers also have legal powers to get information about salaries and assets of a missing parent from their employer and banks.
Factors considered before a maintenance order is issued include lifestyle, income and earning capacity.