Pohamba commends Parliamentarians

WINDHOEK: Namibians should be proud that they are living in a peaceful and stable country, where the implementation of public policies aimed at improving people’s living conditions are not disrupted by conflict or social unrest.

This was said by President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the annual presidential reception for Members of Parliament (MPs) at State House on Wednesday.

“While we count these blessings, we must not, we should not and we cannot afford to be complacent. Rather, we should as a Government and as lawmakers remain acutely aware of the challenges faced by the majority of our people,” he stated.

The president noted that there are still thousands of Namibians who have to walk long distances in order to access basic services such as clean drinking water, healthcare and education, while some also lack decent housing and electricity, especially in the rural areas.

The Head of State commended the Namibian legislature for intensifying its oversight function as demonstrated by the visits of various parliamentary committees to various parts of the country with the aim of holding public institutions and officials to account.

In recent months, members of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts visited a number of regions to see for themselves how the development budget is being implemented by various public institutions.

Where shortcomings were observed, the relevant institutions and officials were called to order.

“Our government will certainly not tolerate failure to implement our public policies and developmental programmes,” Pohamba added.

The Head of State was pleased that MPs took the initiative of inspecting the state of public buildings around the country, saying it is important to ensure that public buildings and other assets do not fall into a state of disrepair, and the regular maintenance of public assets thus remains imperative.

“Lack of maintenance will lead to the dilapidation of public assets, which will in turn require large amounts of public funds to rectify,” Pohamba said.

He then called on lawmakers to always listen to the voices of the people when interacting with them, and to bring their concerns to the attention of the relevant authorities

“Your role and responsibilities as elected Members of Parliament is to do just that,” he stressed.

The Head of State used the platform to reiterate his call to the entire nation of ensuring that the elections set for later this year will be held in a peaceful and transparent manner.

“There should be no violence, intimidation or intolerance. All election campaigns must be carried out peacefully for Namibia to stand out as a beacon of peace, stability and the rule of law among the community of nations,” he continued.

The president also informed his audience that the gathering has special significance because it might be the last time that he was addressing the annual reception for parliamentarians as a new Head of State is to be elected during the presidential elections slated for November this year.

Pohamba also requested the audience at the beginning of the event to observe a minute of silence in honour of the late OvaHerero Paramount Chief Kuaima Riruako, who was also the president of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO), and the late Buddy Wentworth, former Deputy Minister of Education, who both passed away recently.