Pohamba wishes for Zebra-style in Government too

SWAKOPMUND; President Hifikepunye Pohamba wishes to see more women occupying leadership positions in Government in the years to come.

Speaking during the official opening of the Heads of Mission Conference here on Monday, the Head of State said the Swapo-Party amended its constitution last year to adopt a zebra-style composition, through which men and women will occupy 50/50 per cent seats on the party’s leadership structures.

“Whatever we do now within the party, we want it to directly or indirectly apply to government. At the Electoral College to be held possibly in the second week of August this year, our list of candidates is going to have a zebra-style,” he stated.

Pohamba explained that when the party goes to parliament next year with a 50/50 gender representation list, it will indirectly compel the next president to appoint an equal number of women and men in ministerial positions.

“Our system of government is that a president cannot just appoint anyone outside parliament to be a minister. So, if we have a zebra-style (system) in parliament, it will be difficult for him or her to appoint only men and leave out women,” he remarked.

He added that if there are many women in parliament, then the next government will have more women as ministers and in other leadership positions, unlike the current government.

“I don’t know why I am convinced that we will win more seats in parliament, but my wish is that more women will come in this time. I also hope other political parties will adopt the 50/50 gender representation (style) so that if their candidate is elected to be president, then he will be compelled to adopt a zebra-style,” noted Pohamba.

He also used the opportunity to urge political leaders to continue guarding peace in the country.

“Let us keep peace in the country. I am happy that I have done it during my term of office, which is about to end.

I always speak about keeping peace with the leaders of opposition parties, because even if we differ politically, we all want the best for our country,” he stated.

The Namibian leader again noted that his term is drawing to an end, and that he is ready to step down and let someone else take over as per the Namibian constitution.

“By the way, I already started packing to go home to Okanghudi (a village in the Ohangwena Region). I don’t intend to amend the constitution and avoid leaving the office,” he said with a grin.

The four-day conference is held under the theme “Enhancing economic diplomacy in pursuance of Namibia’s foreign policy”.

Amongst other topics, it is expected to review the implementation of Namibia’s Foreign Policy and adopt other policy documents, which will further enhance the efficiency of Namibia’s Foreign Service.

SOURCE: NAMPA