OFFICIAL OPENING OF PARLIAMENT – 2023
The Parliament of the Republic of Namibia will officially open the 2023 calendar year under the theme “Enhancing Namibia’s Parliamentary Democracy Post COVID-19”. The opening address of this distinctive event will be delivered by His Excellency the President, Dr. Hage G. Geingob on the 14th of February 2023 at 14h30.
It is customary that at the beginning of each year, the Legislature hosts an official opening ceremony. The event is a joint session where the Legislature (both houses of Parliament), come together with other state organs, the Judiciary and Executive. The event is a time at which Parliament reflects on the challenges and successes of the year past, while setting the mood and tone for the year ahead, guided by the strategic objective as set out in the theme, under the leadership of the Presiding Officers, Hon. Professor Peter Katjavivi (Speaker of the National Assembly) and Hon. Lukas Sinimbo Muha (Chairperson of the National Council).
The opening address by the President usually focuses on the achievements of Parliament and upcoming legislations/Bills. The following are some of the Bills that will potentially be tabled during the Parliament sessions of 2023; High Court Amendment Bill [Review of Law on Sale of Primary Home of Debtors], Magistrate Court Amendment Bill [Review of Law on Sale of Primary Home of Debtors], Divorce Bill, Child Justice Bill, Ombudsman Bill, Marriage Bill, Uniform Matrimonial Property Regime Bill [Red Line Marriages], Civil Registration Bill, Roads Bill, Vehicle Mass Bill, Land Bill and the Research, Science, Technology and Innovation Bill. Kindly note that these Bills are projected to be tabled in the National Assembly during the 2023 legislative year. However, this is dependent on their finalization by the Ministry of Justice.
In the Upper House, the 7th session of the 6th National Council will commence on the 13th of January 2023 with the swearing in of Honourable Andreas Amundjindi, who replaces Hon. Andreas Uutoni from Oshana region. The session will continue with Debates on Reports and Introduction and Motivation of Reports adjourned in the last session. The Standing Committee on Education, Science, ICT and Youth Development as well as the Standing Committee on Health, Social Welfare and Labour Affairs are some of the Standing Committees expected to table their reports. Other reports expected to be resumed for debate and adoption during this session is the Standing Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources on its follow-up oversight visits to Green Scheme Irrigation Projects in Kavango East and Kavango West Regions, the Standing Committee on Home Affairs, Security, Constitutional and Legal Affairs on its oversight visits to Capital Projects of the various Military Bases in the Regions as well as Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Economy on the review of the Reports of the Auditor-General of Regional Councils and Local Authorities for various financial Years. The Report of the Eight Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians as well as several Regional Council Reports are also expected to be tabled during this period.
With the subsiding of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Parliament is called upon to provide profound legislation, oversight and accountability for the recovery of the national economy and the general improvement of the welfare of citizens. Emphasis is to be placed on ensuring that the funding and resources that were deployed for the pandemic are fully accounted for, and that resources deployed to facilitate a vibrant economy are properly utilized in targeted interventions that will expedite the recovery effort.
The general public, all stakeholders and cooperation partners are invited to join and follow the Official Opening of Parliament by visiting the official Parliament and the NBC Facebook Pages or watch live on NBC Television Channel 282.