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Parliament dismisses Angula’s opinion piece

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Parliament has dismissed claims by former Swapo parliamentarian Nahas ‘Citizen’ Angula that Speakers of the National Assembly (NA) have no control over the August House, noting that such claims are devoid of truth, misleading and misinforming. Angula in an opinion […]

Parliament has dismissed claims by former Swapo parliamentarian Nahas ‘Citizen’ Angula that Speakers of the National Assembly (NA) have no control over the August House, noting that such claims are devoid of truth, misleading and misinforming.

Angula in an opinion piece published in a local newspaper on Tuesday called for the resignations and recall of the NA Speakers Peter Katjavivi and his Deputy Loide Kasingo, claiming that they are incapable to run the House.

A National Assembly statement availed on Wednesday described Angula’s insinuation that the Presiding Officers seemed incapable of exerting sovereign over the business of the House, as outrageous especially when it comes from one of the longest-serving Members of Parliament (MP).

“Citizen Angula knows very well that Presiding Officers of the House in executing their authority over the Chamber draw their power from the provisions of the Namibia Constitution; the Assembly’s Standing Rules and Orders and the Code of Conducts for Members of the National Assembly,” the statement reads.

It said the current Presiding Officers of the NA are highly capable and well-experienced parliamentarians who have demonstrated effective leadership over the House in the last ten years.

“It is thus absolutely misleading, to imply that the National Assembly Presiding Officers are not capable of directing the affairs of the August House,”

The statement further addressed issues surrounding the Powers, Privileges, and Immunities of MPs, noting that while the parliament Act provides for the right of freedom of speech during debates and while MPs are not liable for civil or criminal proceedings, arrest, imprisonment, or damages for anything done in exercising that right, the freedom is not absolute.

“Freedom of speech in parliament does not cover insults, bullying, or public shaming. This cannot fall under the provisions of the Act and shall never be condoned as demonstrated by two Speaker’s Ruling about the behaviour of MPs of the 7th Parliament.

In response, Angula told Nampa that he welcomes the clarity saying it the responsibility of parliament to inform public on what they doing, especially when it comes to disciplining their MPs.

Source: Namibia Press Agency

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