Public hearing on decentralisation fails in Rundu

28 May 2013 08:50
RUNDU, 28 MAY (NAMPA) ? A public meeting which was called by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs here on Monday was cancelled due to poor attendance.
Only eight people turned up for the meeting, much to the disappointment of the committee members.
The meeting was aimed at consulting members of the public on decentralisation and service delivery in the Kavango Region.
It was scheduled to take place at the Kavango Regional Council auditorium at 16h00, but when members of the committee entered the hall, they were greeted by more than 200 empty chairs.
The eight people present were mostly from the Namibian Police, Namibian Prison Services and the Namibian Defence Force, prompting the Parliamentary Standing Committee to cancel the meeting indefinitely.
Acting chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, Agnes Tjongarero told Nampa that the meeting was cancelled because they could not continue with only eight people, who were mostly civil servants.
The Swapo MP said it appears the public was not informed, given the low turnout.
Approached for comment, the Kavango Regional Council?s Public Relations? Officer Joseph Likoro said they sent out 46 invitations to all heads of institutions in the region, while announcements were also made on the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation's (NBC) Rukavango radio call-in programme.
Likoro said the timing of the public meeting at 16h00 was not appropriate, as experience has shown that most public meetings in the Kavango Region are well-attended over weekends.
?I don't think anyone in the region would have wanted to miss this opportunity deliberately. The time was just not right?, said Likoro.
The Parliamentary Clerk of the Parliamentary Standing Committee, Johan Frederick, said on Tuesday that the public hearing will not be rescheduled because the Kavango Regional Council?s officials were informed well in advance about the meeting.
One civilian who turned up for the meeting on time, Kaghuyu Shikerete, felt the meeting should be rearranged for another day because the discussions on decentralisation and service delivery are very important.
On Monday morning, the Parliamentary Standing Committee also held a consultative meeting with the constituency councillors and councillors of the Rundu Town Council.
The committee will have similar meetings at the Ndiyona and Katwitwi settlement offices, as well as at the Nkurenkuru Town Council this week.
The purpose of the regional consultations and public hearings is to consult and solicit views of regional and local authorities as well as the general public on the status of the implementation of the decentralisation programme of the Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development Ministry in both the Caprivi and Kavango regions.
The six members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee are Tjongarero, Billy Mwandingange, Ignatius Shixwameni, Clara Gowases, Eliphas Dingara and Ben Ulenga.