13 February 2018

Namibia: What to Expect From Parliament in 2018

Windhoek — Parliament will resume its business today and will carry on where it left off in 2017 in terms of crafting and adopting laws, but there will also be a few new bills on the horizon, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Professor Peter H. Katjavivi, announced.

Katjavivi said the opening will take place at the Parliament Building today under the theme 'Enhancing Partnerships to Strengthen Good Governance in Namibia.'

As per the provisions of Rule 15 of the Standing Rules and Orders and Constitutional Responsibilities, President Hage Geingob will attend the event that will bring together the three main organs of the state (executive, legislature and judiciary) under one roof, and is to be accompanied by a guard of honour (military parade) and a 21-gun salute.

Some of the bills that will potentially be tabled during the parliamentary sessions of 2018 include the Education Bill, Seeds and Seed Varieties Bill, Plant Breeders' and Farmers Right Bill, Control of Importation and Exportation of Dairy Products and Dairy Products Substitutes Amendment Bill and Meat Company Bill.

The Financial Institutions and Markets Bill, Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority Bill, Financial Service Adjudication Bill, Dismantling Bill/NPTH Bill, Magistrates' Courts Amendment Bill, Magistrates Amendment Bill, International Cooperation In Criminal Matter Bill, and Prevention and Combating of Torture Bill are also among the bills projected to be tabled this year.

Katjavivi said the last session of the National Assembly dealt with important bills, including the Appropriation Bill of 2017, which was passed, amongst others. Later, the Appropriation Amendment Bill of 2017 was also passed.

The Appropriation Bill in any given parliamentary jurisdiction is an important bill as it seeks approval for the usage of funds meant for government operations and activities.

Other bills tabled and passed during 2017 included the following: the Namibia Revenue Agency Bill, the Namibian Time Bill 2017, Usury Amendment Bill, Micro Lending Bill, Whistle-Blowers Protection Bill, Controlled Wildlife Products and Trade Amendment Bill, One-Stop Border Posts Control Bill, Local Authorities Amendment Bill, Lottery Bill and the Education Amendment Bill.

Furthermore, the following bills, among others, were sent to the National Council for review and they were referred back to the National Assembly for further deliberations: the Regional Councils Amendment Bill and the Trafficking in Persons Bill.

Furthermore, several parliamentary standing committees undertook visits to the regions to acquaint themselves with the progress of various government projects and to conduct public hearings on items referred to them by the House during recess.

Among the public hearings concluded were those on the Namibian Time Bill, on Motion on GRN Payment System as well as the Consultations with Traditional Authorities, Stakeholders and Members of Public to determine and declare a suitable day for 'Genocide Remembrance Day'.

Katjavivi said some of the reports on these undertakings have already been tabled for the House's consideration, while other reports are still pending and would likely be tabled during 2018.

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