Amendments Shamed Honourables – Geingob

PRIME Minister Hage Geingob told Swapo supporters at Swakopmund over the weekend that “so-called honourables, who are not honourable” were shamed for claiming they had not been consulted about the constitutional amendments – even when a record of dates, times and the names of the parties consulted were presented.

He said that since the proposed amendments were tabled, he contacted opposition parties to consult them individually over the proposals.

“These were not information meetings where I told them what will happen, but consultative meetings to ask them what they thought. They even made major proposals that were accepted and brought into the proposals,” said Geingob, specifically making reference to the 5% threshold representation to make political parties eligible to get a seat in parliament.

“There are some that have no representation that come and talk like they represent the whole nation, This does not mean it is the end of small parties and democracy as they claim,” he said. “Now the National Assembly is enlarged and so the threshold for seats will come down, which will favour small parties. They’ll get more seats easier. It’s logical”.

He scoffed at those who demonstrated recently to oppose the amendments, and claimed that they represented the masses.

“These protestors were a crowd of 70 people, which included children. Are they the masses and can they say that the masses have not been consulted? Are the masses those with Twitters and Facebooks (sic)?”

The adoption of the amendments is expected to be done on Wednesday.

He said his party’s campaign for the coming elections was not like “those projects'” (competing parties), promises of things to be, but about what has already been achieved and the continuation of such achievements.

Geingob briefly highlighted Swapo’s achievement in bringing independence, peace and unity to Namibia. This, he said, came with a democratic constitution, which resulted in an “effective – not just good” government and freedom of speech and a free press.

“Journalists are free none are arrested. They can say what they want without even checking the facts,” he wisecracked.

Another achievement by Swapo, according to him, was a good economy (“that can do better though”) that is “not in the minus has a low deficit is investor-friendly and credit worthy”.

He said that the government’s next struggle was an enhanced social economy that focused on the disparities between rich and poor and the basic needs of the people such as food-security, housing, health and education.

“That’s what people are demanding from the next government. We have already laid the foundation now we have to build on to it,” he said.

He said that the possibility of being the country’s next president was “frightening and not easy”, and that it was a great responsibility put on his shoulders by Swapo members for which he was grateful.

Geingob also made reference to the Swapo “pot” that will be from 23 to 31 August and the realisation of a 5050 (gender) “zebra-style” government representation, which he called “long-overdue”.

With 96 seats in parliament, members of the “pot” will vote (and cross-vote) for their candidates – male and female to represent the party.

“Number one will be a man, then a woman, then a man, then a woman, and so on – zebra-style – 48 men and 48 women, until all the seats are taken,” he explained, adding that the President’s 10 candidates will be included and those members that did not make it will have to understand that that was what the “pot” is all about.

Source : The Namibian