First in kick-starting the events of the two-week long activities which started on Monday, 14 February, was a courtesy call on the Governor of the Otjozondjupa Region, Hon. James Uerikua, where the National Council Chairperson, Hon. Lukas Muha shared the purpose and aim of the regional visits. After the courtesy call on the Governor, the Chairperson, and his delegation, headed to G. K Wahl Combined School in Kalkfeld, where an interactive information sharing session was held with leaners of the school. The Chairperson, the Secretary to the National Council, Adv. Tousy Namiseb and Director in the Office of the Chairperson, Mr. Petrus Kavhura and the Otjiwarongo Constituency Councillor Ms. Marlene Mbakera all engaged learners of the school in an educative manner.
Day two saw the Chairperson and his delegation head to Okakarara. At the town, Hon. Muha met traditional leaders from the Kambazembi Traditional Authority, the Oakkarara Traditional Authority as well as the OvaHerero Traditional Authority. Several issues were raised in the meeting, including the dilapidated sports field and cultural center at the town, the need for recognition of more traditional authorities by government and that the yearly meeting of Traditional Authorities be constituted more frequently in order to attend to matters timeously. Also at the meeting, the representative of the Kambazembi Royal House noted that the Council of Traditional Authorities Office in Windhoek be effectively optimized, in that each recognized traditional authority must have two representatives permanently stationed in Windhoek at the office to be the focal persons between their respective traditional authority and government. The meeting was a fruitful one and upon its conclusion, the Chairperson was escorted to the Okakarara Sport field and the Cultural Centre at the town, to see first-hand the deplorable state they are in. The Chairperson noted that growing up, they would come for sporting activities to Okakarara Sport Field which was in good condition back in the day, and that it was disheartening to see the current state of the field.
In the afternoon, learners from the Okakarara Secondary School and the Waterberg Junior Secondary School, along with youth leaders gathered at the Pamue Community Hall where a meeting took place. Here, the community got to learn about the role of the legislature as well as other information pertaining to the roles, mandate and functions of the National Council. The community was pleased with the Chairperson’s visit, stating that the opportunity was a learning one and that they now had a better understanding of the state organs and National Council as a House of Parliament.
On Wednesday, 16 February 2022, the delegation visited two important economic entities in the Otjozondjupa region, namely, Cheetah Cement and B2Gold. The purpose of the tours was for Hon. Muha to familiarize himself with the economic activities of the region and gain better understanding of the various processes that are involved in diamond mining and cement production.
In day four and five, the delegation was in Grootfontein and Tsumkwe respectively. In Grootfontein, Constituency Councillor and Member of Parliament, Hon. Elder Fillipe welcomed the National Council delegation and officially opened the community meeting. Learners from various schools, youth and community leaders all gathered for the information sharing session, which was very interactive and saw young community leaders engage and bring up issues affecting their town, such as youth unemployment, lack of sporting infrastructures, bad roads, and homelessness as some challenges they are faced with. At Tsumkwe, the Chairperson was welcomed by the Constituency Councillor of Tsumkwe, Hon. Johannes Hausiku after which he paid a Courtesy Call on the Ju|’Hoansi Traditional Authority. A meeting with school going learners at the Tsumkwe Secondary School concluded week one of the programme.
All in all, the engagements where productive and fruitful, and the communities visited were thankful to gain wider understanding of Parliament. Chief amongst the information being shared, is the separation of powers as guaranteed in the constitution, that clearly outlines the three Organs of the State, namely, the Judiciary, the Executive, and the Legislature (generally referred to as Parliament) as well as the roles and functions of the latter in general and of the National Council as a House of Parliament in particular. In addition, the important component of public participation in the law-making process was also greatly expounded on.
The objective of the regional visits are to create awareness about the review and oversight role of the National Council; engage key stakeholders in the regions to increase public understanding of the House of Parliament; and improve the perception of the public on the work of the National Council and its Members.
The second week of the outreach programme continues tomorrow, 21 February until Friday the 25th in the Kavango East region, where the first meetings are expected to be held at the Kavango East Regional Council Auditorium and Dr. Kampungu Secondary School Hall in the regional capital Rundu, respectively.