A total of 20 bills are likely to be tabled in Parliament this year, the Windhoek Observer can reveal.
President Hage Geingob will open the Seventh Session of the Sixth Parliament on 13 February under the theme ‘Enhancing partnership to strengthen good governance in Namibia’.
In an interview with the Windhoek Observer, National Assembly Speaker, Professor Peter Katjavivi, said his office has already received a list of 20 bills that are expected to be tabled in Parliament this year.
“Of the 20 bills listed, we need to know which ones are ready so that the legal division of the National Assembly can commence the exercise of summarising them for the ease of understanding and deliberation by MPs,” Prof Katjavivi said.
“Of the 20 bills listed, we will ascertain which ones are of higher priority so that we can ably inform the media and the nation and we will decide which bills will be tabled at approximately what time during the legislative year 2018.”
Some of the bills forming part of the list are the Education Bill, Plant Breeders and Farmers’ Rights Bill, Financial Institution and Market Bill, and Prevention and Combating of Torture Bill.
The full list of bills to be tabled is set to be disclosed at the official opening of Parliament.
Last year, only 19 bills were passed in the National Assembly and six were reconsidered out of the 40 bills which were tabled at the beginning of February.
Among the bills which formed part of the list tabled but never passed last year are the Small Claims Courts Bill, Seed and Seed Varieties Bill and Sheriff Bill, Arms and Ammunition Amendment Bill, Agronomic Industry Bill, Audit Bill, Child Justice Bill, Combating of Abuse of Drugs Bill, Control of Importation and Exportation of Dairy Products Bill, Customary Law Marriages Bill, and the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Bill.
In 2016, 22 bills were tabled in the National Assembly, of which 20 were passed and two withdrawn.
Only 15 bills were passed in 2015.
In Namibia the principal/primary laws are initiated and tabled in the National Assembly by the Executive in the form of bills, however a member of the National Assembly may also initiate a bill called a Private Member’s Bill.
As soon as a Bill is tabled for discussion in Parliament, it legally becomes a public document.