Namibia: Deputy Speaker Breaks Parliament Rules

23 September 2020

DEPUTY speaker Loide Kasingo in Tuesday afternoon bypassed parliamentary rules when she announced chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of parliamentary standing committees without consulting political parties represented in the House.

Opposition parliamentarians said this is contrary to Article 55 of the parliamentary standing rules and orders, which state that each party shall nominate people to serve on standing and select committees.

They said there was no meeting where the names she read were nominated.

The Namibian understands five parties have not submitted names to the office of the secretary of the National Assembly where it is normally submitted to.

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) legislator Elma Dienda tried to block the deputy speaker, but Kasingo proceeded reading out the names.

She also threatened to "kick" Dienda out of the House, because Dienda kept shouting while Kasingo spoke.

A seemingly agitated Dienda did not take this lightly, saying she would not leave the House without a fight.

"You cannot threaten to kick me out. I am not wheelbarrowed into this House, I was elected to be in this House," she said.

All People's Party leader Ignatius Shixwameni said since parliament started in March this year, the House has been reduced to "kindergarten politics".

"I think as national leaders we need to debate issues, not personality . . ," Shixwameni said while interjected by PDM leader McHenry Venaani, who kept telling Shixwameni he gets a salary for free, because he never attends parliament sessions.

Shixwameni hit back at Venaani, calling the PDM a "puppet of the colonial master".

However, PDM parliamentarians said it was Shixwameni who displays puppetry tendencies by siding with Swapo.

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