Hon. Lukas Sinimbo Muha, Chairperson of the 6th National Council
|Story by Pamela Mate
The 6th National Council on Tuesday, 15 December 2020 held its first sitting, where Hon. Lukas Sinimbo Muha was elected as Chairperson following the swearing in of new National Council Members. This follows the recently concluded Local and Regional Council elections of November 2020. According to Rule 14 of the National Council Standing Rules and Orders, on the first day on which the Council meets after elections, and whenever necessary thereafter, the Council shall proceed with the election of a Chairperson.
Hon. Muha was nominated by Hon. Elder Fillipe (Swapo Party) from the Otjozondjupa region, and was seconded by Hon. Leonard Shikulo (Swapo Party) from the Omusati region. Contesting the Chairperson position was Hon. Sebastiaan Gobs (UDF) from the great Kunene region, who was nominated by Hon. Gerrit Witbooi (LPM) from the //Kharas region, seconded by Hon. Deriou Benson (IPC) from Erongo region. Hon. Anseline Beukes (LPM) from the //Kharas region also nominated Hon. Gerhard Shiimi to the position of Chairperson but the nomination was rejected by Hon. Shiimi, and thus, that nomination did not stand.
Hon. Muha won the election by 28 votes to 13 of Hon. Gobs. After taking the Chair, Hon. Muha then presided over the election of his Vice, a position which was contested by Hon. Victoria Kauma (Swapo Party) from the Kavango East region and Hon. Harald Kambrude (LPM) from the Hardap region. Hon. Kauma was nominated by Hon. Lonia Kaishungu (Swapo Party) from the Ohangwena region and seconded by Hon. Bethuel Tjaveonda (Swapo Party) from the Otjozondjupa region. Meanhwile, Hon. Kambrude was nominated by Hon. Jeremajas Goeieman (LPM) from the //Kharas region and seconded by Hon. Joram !Haoseb (UDF) from the Erongo region.
Hon. Kauma won the Vice-Chairperson position by 29 votes to 13. The 6th National Council will serve for a period of 5 years until the next Local Authority and Regional Council elections of 2025. The current Council has Swapo Party in the majority with 28 seats, followed by the Landless People’s Movement with 6 seats, making them the main opposition party in the Upper House of the Namibian Parliament. Other political parties represented are the United Democratic Front (UDF), Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) and Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) with two seats respectively while NUDO managed to secure only one seat.
The National Council also made history by having an Independent Candidate as the first ever Member of Parliament in Namibia, who is Hon. Paulus Mbangu from the Kavango East region. The new Presiding Officer hails from the Mankumpi Constituency, in the Kavango West region. Hon. Muha joined the 5th National Council in 2015 and was a member of the National Council Standing Committee on Habitat.