3 January 2018

Namibia: National Council Passed 12 Bills in 2017

THE National Council passed three bills in December bringing the total number of bills passed in 2017 to 12.

The bills passed in December concern human trafficking, education and urban and regional planning.

The urban and regional planning and human trafficking bills were passed with some amendments, including the removal of fines for human trafficking perpetrators.

Amending the human trafficking bill to remove the option of fines was done to underscore the seriousness of human trafficking and that it should not be tolerated.

The education amendment bill was heavily debated, with some councillors urging government not to shy away from requesting parents to make financial contributions to schools.

Swapo chief whip Lebbius Tobias praised the amendments and the ruling party for making education free for all, but also cautioned against some clauses that might be problematic, such as school boards being run by principals when they should be run by parents.

He said parents should be educated on the provisions of the law so that they are not intimidated or manipulated.

The other bills passed in 2017 are the Namibian time bill, the whistleblower protection bill, the lotteries bill, the controlled wildlife products and trade amendment bill, the usury amendment bill, the Namibia revenue agency bill, the regional councils amendment bill, local authorities amendment bill, and the one-stop border posts bill.

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