On 23 February 2022, the National Council celebrated 29 years.
The National Council held its inaugural sitting on 23 February 1993, after the first Regional and Local Authority Elections held in November 1992 elected the first Regional Councillors in an independent Namibia.
At inception, the National Council had only two parties represented in the House (Swapo and DTA – now PDM) and consisted of 26 Members, with two seats allocated per each of the 13 political regions at the time. The number of seats in the National Council was increased from 26 to 42 Members following the Constitutional amendments of 2014. Currently, each region is represented by three members in the National Council, with six political parties represented along with a sole Independent Candidate. Members of the National Council are elected directly from their respective regions and serve as Members of Parliament in the National Council for a period of five years upon nomination from their respective Regional Councils after the conclusion of regional elections every five years.
Established as per Chapter Eight (8) of the Namibian Constitution, the National Council (NC) is part of Namibia’s bi-cameral Parliament which consists of two chambers, the other being the National Assembly. Together, the two chambers form what is formally referred to as the Legislature. The National Council is also known as the Upper Chamber or House of Review of the Namibian Parliament, due to its review function as mandated in Article 74 (1)(1) of the Namibian Constitution.
As an organ of the State, the National Council plays a crucial role in the legislative process. One of the NC’s key functions is to review Bills passed by the National Assembly and recommend legislation on matters of regional concern for submission to and consideration by the National Assembly. The National Council also has certain advisory functions to the National Assembly. Over the years, the National Council continues to review and make significant amendments to legislation, carry out effective oversight work through its Parliamentary Standing Committees and provide regional and national representation to the electorate.
The Presiding Officer of the National Council is officially known as the Chairperson. The Chairperson is elected from among members of the National Council. The founding Chairperson was Hon. Kandy Nehova who served from 1993 to 2004, with Dr. Ben Mulongeni being the first Secretary to the National Council. Hon. Nehova was deputised by the late Hon. Zedekia Mujoro.
Hon. Lukas Sinimbo Muha (deputised by Hon, Victoria Kauma), is the current Presiding Officer of the 6th National Council, with Adv. Tousy Namiseb heading the Administration as Secretary. Hon. Muha succeeds former Chairpersons, Hon. Asser Kapere, Hon. Bernhard Sibalatani and Hon. Margareth Mensah Williams who all served between 2005 to 2020.