Former National Council Chairperson Hon. Bernard Sibalatani bidding farewell to staff members
|Story by Pamela Mate
Following the recently concluded Local Authority and Regional Council Elections, the National Council this week bid farewell to former Chairperson, Hon. Bernard Songa Sibalatani.
In his address, the outgoing Chairperson thanked the staff of the National Council for their diligent service, further stating that he would always be at the service of the country as a national leader. In his parting remarks, the former political head of the institution quoted 2 Timothy 4 verse 2, which reads; “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”.
Hon. Sibalatani joined the National Council in 2008, on the Swapo Party ticket where he represented the Katima Mulilo Urban Constituency. He replaced Hon. Leonard Mwilima who served from 2005 to 2007.
During his time at the National Council, Hon. Sibalatani served as Committee Member on several Standing Committees, including the Standing Committees on Regional Development and Reports; Habitat; Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security, Security, Constitutional and Legal Affairs. Sibalatani also served on the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Namibia Branch.
Before being elected as the Presiding Officer, Hon. Sibalatani served as the Swapo Party Chief Whip in the 4th National Council (2011 – 2015), after which he was elected as Vice Chairperson in the 5th National Council (2015 - 2019). Hon. Sibalatani took over Chairmanship of the National Council in October of 2019 after the then Presiding Officer, Hon. Margareth Mensah-Williams’ selection to the National Assembly.
Secretary to the National Council, Mr Tousy Namiseb said that although retired, Hon. Sibalatani was far from tired, as he is still full of vitality and vigour, and would contribute meaningfully in whatever capacity the future would present to with.
At the occasion, the Upper House of the Namibian Parliament also observed the World Aids Day with a moment of silence. World Aids Day is commemorated on the 1st of December every year.
The 6th National Council is expected to be sworn in next week (15 December, 2020).