07 Nov 2018 08:50am
WINDHOEK, 07 NOV (NAMPA) National Assembly (NA) Speaker Peter Katjavivi has cleared Prime Minister (PM) Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila of any wrongdoing in the utterances she directed to a fellow parliamentarian whom regarded them as derogatory and demeaning.
Last week, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said during a heated debate in the NA that Swanu is intolerant and inflexible while pointing at its member, Usutuaije Maamberua.
On Tuesday, after having analysed the verbal exchange between the two, Katjavivi concluded that the PM had not transgressed any rule of the NA.
Katjavivi pointed specifically to Rule 116 (e) in the National Assemblys Standing Rules and Orders which read: A member may not use offensive or unbecoming words against the presiding member, the Assembly or proceedings or in the referencing to any member thereof.
Katjavivi had initially asked the PM to retract the remarks she made to Maamberua.
I intervened and directed the Rt. Honourable Prime Minister to draw a distinction between Swanu the party and Hon. Maamberua during the exchanges between the two, he said.
He added: However, in the furtherance of the discussion, the Rt. Honourable Prime Minister said these words to elaborate what exactly she meant earlier on ...he [Maamberua] does not show tolerance to other people...
Katjavivi concluded: Truly, none of these expressions fall within the category of un-parliamentary language and therefore, I would request that we put the entire matter to rest.
The PM is on record telling Maamberua that yes, you are intolerable, which did not sit well with him.
Do you allow a member to degrade the person of another member? Maamberua said while pointing at the PM on Thursday.
However, the PM was firm in her position that she would not retract anything.
I will not withdraw. But I will say I extend a hand of friendship to the colleague there (pointing at Maamberua) and I am not going to use that terminology anymore, she said.
On Tuesday, Maamberua was unimpressed with the Speakers ruling, indicating he is a student of Maoism.
The politician who felt hard done by Katjavivi said: I dont just continue fighting battles. I retreat in order to fight battles next time. I dont just stay with one battle. Where it is necessary, strategically and tactically, I retreat.
Katjavivi also advised that during the conduct of business in the National Assembly, its members must always observe rules with diplomacy and courtesy.