Parliament is not underperforming: Katjavivi

21 Feb 2018 13:40pm
WINDHOEK, 21 FEB (NAMPA) – Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) Professor Peter Katjavivi said the notion that Parliament is underperforming is far-fetched.
Speaking in the NA on Tuesday, Katjavivi addressed perceptions in the public domain that Parliament was underperforming in executing its duties.
“I would like to dispel the notion and misunderstanding that Parliament is underperforming with regard to processing bills; it is absolutely a misrepresentation.
“The factual situation in relation to bills presented in this house last year is that all those bills that came in this house, were taken. The bills were taken up and addressed accordingly. Nothing was left.”
Katjavivi also seemingly responded to President Hage Geingob – who, during the opening of Parliament last week, expressed concern at the pace at which bills are passed in the NA.
“I have learnt with disappointment that only 19 bills out of the 40 tabled during the last session were passed,” the Head of State said at the time.
The Speaker further noted that the quality of debate in the august house will depend on availability of information.
Quality debates by parliamentarians is a challenge Geingob also put to MPs last week.
To ensure quality debate, the Speaker said, “you cannot pass the bill today and discuss it tomorrow,” making it clear that MPs will be given ample time to digest and understand a given bill before it is passed.
This is to ensure the quality of debates and subsequently better the outcome.
He also maintained that the time frame during which a bill will be debated will be determined by the given bill.
Katjavivi further called for a business unusual approach by all parliamentarians.
“I don’t want it to be business as usual. This is 2018. Every time, every year, we need to improve our performance from what we have done the last time.”
Parliament is expected to debate 20 bills in 2018.