President calls for stiffer laws against 'social ills'

13 Feb 2019 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 13 FEB (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has urged Parliament to introduce laws that will help combat social ills that hamper socio-economic progress in Namibia.
Speaking during the opening of the Ninth Session of the Sixth Parliament on Wednesday, Geingob tasked lawmakers with ensuring that all unjust laws of past regimes are replaced with just laws.
He said the Namibian nation cannot continue to be subjected to “archaic and discriminatory” laws, calling on parliamentarians to work towards addressing shortcomings in local laws and statutes.
“We have witnessed many disturbing instances in our society where individuals arrested for committing rape are released on bail, only to reoffend and cause more physical and mental trauma in our communities,” he said.
The tabling of bills during this session demands absolute commitment and a high work ethic from legislators, in order to ensure that Parliament maintains a high success rate in passing such bills.
Geingob said Parliament, as the legislative body of Government, is the linchpin of the country’s governance architecture, which includes carrying out critical functions such as law making, representation of the electorate and oversight of Government activities.
“The execution of these vital functions and the responsibility of representing the electorate, requires that parliamentarians should be paragons of virtue,” he said.
The president was at pains to note that there has been a growing trend of trust deficit between the public and governments, not only in Namibia, but worldwide too.
“Issues such as perceived corruption are negatively affecting accountability and political credibility. It is for this reason that I coined the formula accountability + transparency = trust.”
He said Parliament, as the primary symbol of democracy, is an essential element in the country’s efforts to combat corruption and to promote integrity.
“Integrity, accountability and professionalism are the foundations of effective governance and facilitative the pursuit of our development objectives, while at the same time, protecting us from debilitating behaviour such as corruption,” he said.
Geingob said it is therefore crucial that leaders improve the trust people have in Government and that such trust should begin in Parliament, where the representatives of the electorate endeavour to fulfil the important function of keeping democratic institutional systems accountable and transparent.
The theme for this year’s opening of Parliament was ‘Promoting Integrity, Accountability and Professionalism.’