H.E. President Hage Geingob opening the 3rd session of the 7th parliament virtually today
|Story by George Sanzila
Windhoek - H.E. President Hage Geingob officially opened the 3rd session of the 7th Parliament today (09/02/2021). The Head of state opened the event virtually for the first time. It coincided with the 31st anniversary of the adoption of Namibia’s constitution which came into force on 21 March 1990 when Namibia became independent.
Speaking during the opening, the head of state urged for resilience and innovation in overcoming the negative impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. “I have christened this year as the year of resilience. Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity. We have to display resilience in overcoming the daunting task that face us, that of reviving our economic fortunes and steering Namibia back towards the path of prosperity. Resilience means rising above the challenges of COVID 19 in order to deliver the mandate bestowed to us by the people of Namibia”, said President Geingob.
President Geingob further lauded parliament for moving towards digitilisation, he said would enhance the work of the legislature particularly that the COVID 19 pandemic has transformed the work environment. “One positive aspect that has emerged from the COVID 19 pandemic is the adoption of information technology. To learn that our members, will, in the future, have ability to remotely log-in to partake in parliament sessions is a positive sign that infusion of technological systems into the workplace is taking place at the highest level”, said the President.
The President is further concerned with the upsurge in cases of gender based violence, he says are derailing efforts being made by government to guarantee the safety of all citizens. He therefore implored lawmakers to enact laws that would vehemently deter these crimes. “A nation that cannot guarantee the safety of its women and children, is a nation, which can never ascend to the lofty heights of prosperity. Crimes that are aimed at women and children have become persistent in our society and this cannot be tolerated. I therefore implore you, as lawmakers to ensure that we create a legal environment, which exacts maximum punishment on the perpetrators of these deplorable crimes so that we can rid our society of this scourge”, urged Geingob.
Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Prof. Peter Katjavivi who is equally concerned about the negative effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, urged members of parliament to adhere to the health regulations at all times in order to help curb the spread of the virus. A minute of silence was observed in memory of members of parliament and other politicians who have succumbed to the pandemic. These include Hons. Dirk Mudge, Mandela Kapere and Cleophas Mutjavikua. Newly elected Chairperson of the National Council, Hon. Lukas Muha who addressed the joint sitting of parliament for the first time as chairperson, also commended diverse representation in parliament adding that it was incumbent upon elected leaders to meet the expectations of the electorate despite the impediments caused by the COVID 19 pandemic.
The following bills are expected to be tabled this year, Combating of Rape Amendment Bill, Combating of Domestic Violence Amendment Bill, Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, High Court Amendment Bill, Magistrates Court amendment Bill, Divorce Bill, Ombudsman Bill, Child Justice Bill, Marriage Bill, Uniform Marriages Bill, Banking Institutions Amendment Bill and the Metrology Bill.