By Eliaser Ndeyanale
THE president of the All People’s Party (APP) Ignatius Shixwameni last week Thursday blasted a motion by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa- Amadhila seeking to push through the appointment of electoral commissioners without due legal process, calling it “unacceptable”.
Shixwameni took the floor after Kuugongelwa- Amadhila announced that President Hage Geingob had under section six Sub-section 17 of the Electoral Act of 2014 re-appointed Notemba Tjipueja, Barney Karuuombe, Ulrich Freyer, Albertina Nangolo and Nespect Butty Salom as board commissioners of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and urged the House to approve the nomination as it was urgent.
He said, “We are facing crisis in Namibia … that’s a disappointment unless it will be explained whether the Electoral Commission of Namibia is going to be dissolved tomorrow if these appointments are not approved by this House. I know most of these people that are mentioned here but this is precisely a recycle of people and bringing them at the last hour is also not acceptable.
“The other member that was mentioned here, Notemba (Tjipueja) sits on so many boards of directors. I think we must really be serious. People must be given time to consider some people carefully. I don’t have anything against anybody but it’s true that you cannot bring people at the last hour … to this chamber and expect the House to just rubber stamp them. It must be explained to the urgency of this motion. What is urgent about these appointments?”
DTA Member of Parliament Elma Dienda asked for the lawmakers to be provided with the CVs of the nominees. Vipuakuje Muharukua also of the DTA also said legislators were not being given enough time to make laws.
He further stated that Selection Committee which consists of the chairperson of the Public Service Commission, who is the chairperson of the Selection Committee, chairperson of the Council of the Law Society of Namibia as deputy chairperson, chairman of the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board, the Registrar of the High Court of Namibia; and the Director of the Nami b i a Qualifications Authority should be transparent to show Namibians that the ECN is run by competent people and that it is an independent body that cannot be influenced politically so that people can have confidence in the country’s elections.
Attorney General Sacky Shanghala who rose on a point of order supported the Prime Minister saying there was an urgency for the lower house to approve the names since it would be expensive to go back to the National Assembly for the second time for consideration.
Justices Minister Albert Kawana hit back at Shixwameni saying, “If there are some kind of suspicious whatever, I think the history will dispel that. The appointment of the commissioners has to be done with the concurrence of this House so that the credibility of the people we are talking about can be enhanced.”
Despite the reasoning of the Swapo MP, Shixwameni, a former deputy minister of information refused to retreat suggesting for the commissioners to apply before being appointed.
“We are appointing people for five more years; why has that provision not been implemented that people who want to be electoral commissioners apply to be interviewed and then after that process has been resorted to, they will bring the names to the National Assembly for approval?” he questioned.
Kawana in response referred Shixwameni to the Electoral Act.
DTA leader McHenry Venaani who also contributed to the heated debate saying the selection committee was supposed to select names of appointees under public scrutiny. “That process was not done and somebody must be held accountable for the failure of not having done so because we are talking about credibility of our elections in our republic.”
Defending her motion, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said, “None of us consider this situation to be an idle one and if we were in a position to pre-empty it at least from the executive part I would give my assurance that we would have done that if it was not foreseen and it could not be pre-emptied and we are therefore facing a situation where we will have to evoke a fall-back position that we have agreed up upon as a nation.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015