Windhoek is abuzz as Swapo party members from all the 14 regions have streamed into the capital for the party’s much-anticipated electoral college that will take place at the Safari Hotel from Friday. As many as 204 delegates will attend the electoral college, the majority of whom come from the regions, numbering 98. Sixty-six (66) consist of current members of the national assembly, six from the Elders Council, six from the youth wing, ten from Women’s Council and six from the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW).
THE Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) this week reiterated that they had no affiliation to Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with whom they share a striking resemblance. Members of the party came to their press conference on Thursday this week clad from head to toe in red overalls and berets with their party crest of a fist on the African continent emblazoned on their attire, much like South Africa’s EFF.
The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) disregarded a recommendation by the Law Reform and Development Commission (LRDC) on the use of a paper trail when making use of electronic voting machines (EVMs). The decision to disregard the commission’s recommendation is contrary to a provision in the Electoral Bill that Government tabled in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
THE Chairperson of the Law Reform Development Commission Sacky Shanghala has received death threats following the tabling of the Third Constitutional Amendment Bill in parliament two weeks ago. In an interview on Tuesday, a rather jovial Shanghala said he had received threatening messages via SMS, email and over the phone since last week. “Yes I have received six death threats in total, of which five of them came last week and one call came this week.
Prime Minister Hage Geingob seemed to have finally managed to bring the Constitutional Amendments Bill back on track on Wednesday afternoon after initially facing fierce resistance in the National Assembly. This week the Prime Minister and members of the ruling Swapo party had to out-manoeuvre numerous attempts, not only to derail the passing of the draft Bill, but also to disrupt parliamentary discussions.
Simmering tensions between the Minister of Education David Namwandi and the Rector of the Polytechnic of Namibia Tjama Tjivikua have reached boiling point with Tjivikua claiming the minister is doing the bare minimum to assist the Polytechnic’s transition process. Tjivikua believes the education minister is deliberately sabotaging the sourcing of funding from the finance minister, while in turn Namwandi says he has done everything in his power to assist.
The ongoing Avid trial could take an interesting turn if the High Court allows former Detective Chief Inspector of the Windhoek Serious Crimes Unit Oscar Sheehama to testify. In a sworn statement, of which lawyers produced sections in court this week, Sheehama claimed that had it not been for political motives and manoeuvring, the Avid case would have turned out differently.
All eyes are fixed on Swapo MPs after the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Attorney General Albert Kawana tabled the Third Amendment Bill to the Namibian Constitution in parliament on Thursday. The majority of the proposed amendments have come under serious public scrutiny in recent weeks. The Bill proposes the amendment of Article 32 of the Constitution for the creation of the office of the Vice President. The Bill seeks to re-arrange the hierarchy of succession and making the appointment of a Deputy Prime Minister optional.
PRIME Minister Hage Geingob took the house by surprise on Thursday afternoon when he addressed fellow members of the National Assembly on the rise of tribalism in Namibia. Without beating about the bush, Geingob said there is a storm brewing on the horizon, and that the nation is slowly witnessing the emergence of tribalism in certain quarters of society. The Prime Minister delivered his message to a full house not only of members of parliament, but also ordinary citizens, who had come out in their numbers to hear his statement.
THE MINISTER of Labour and Social Welfare has threatened to take former board members of the Social Security Commission (SSC) to court if they refuse to pay back money they allegedly used to overcompensate themselves for sitting fees. In an interview on Monday Doreen Sioka said that her office would demand that board members pay back portions of the money, and failure to do so would result in her taking legal action against the board. Sioka stuck to her guns regarding the allegation that board members were either overcharging, or charging the commission sitting fees when they had not even met.