Namibia: Parliament Briefs - Geingob to Consult Vilho On Defence Budget

28 September 2020

PRIME minister Saara Kuungelwa-Amadhila says defence minister Peter Hafeni Vilho will meet president Hage Geingob and the auditor general to determine the aspect of defence expenditure that can be opened up for audit purposes.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila was responding to questions from Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) parliamentarian Nico Smit in the National Assembly on Thursday.

Smit had asked whether the defence ministry was no longer answerable to parliament and why the defence ministry had in 2019 barred officials from the Office of the Auditor General from visiting certain military bases for auditing purposes.

"The president is due to hold consultations with the minister of defence and the auditor general for the purposes of auditability of the latest finances," Kuugonelwa-Amadhila said.

Vilho, last week said the National Assembly will for security reasons no longer be allowed to openly discuss the budget allocated to the Namibian Defence Force and for military-related spending.

He said the budget will from next year be conducted according to international standards and a parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs, defence and security will be tasked to handle discussions on it.

PDM concerned with implementation of motions

POPULAR Democratic Movement parliamentarian Jenifer van den Heever last week expressed concerns over the slow process by the government to implement motions passed by the National Assembly and other recommendations made by parliamentary standing committees.

Van den Heever said it appears the government was ignoring successful motions by opposition parties that have been adopted by parliament.

"There were specific motions on housing and the recommendations were adopted by parliament but nobody is communicating to the members of this house on what is going to happen. It becomes a problem for us in doing our job, going out on benchmark visits and really have so much monitoring implication and there is just no progress on anything," she said.

She urged, the secretary to the National Assembly to follow up with relevant authorities on the implementation of recent motions adopted by parliament.

EFF wants Asian businesses forced to use banks

NAMIBIA Economic Freedom Fighters parliamentarian Epafras Mukwiilongo has asked the government to introduce a law to compel foreign businesses, especially those owned by Asians to start using the country's banking systems.

Mukwiilongo in a question posed in the National Assembly on Thursday claimed the majority of businesses owned by people of Asian origin from countries such as China, Pakistan and India among others, do not use the local banking system and most of them smuggle cash out of the country.

He urged the government to force these businesses to start using speed point with the view to make it possible to obtain records from them for tax purposes.

Prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, however, said it was not possible for the government to compel any business or any individual to use commercial banks.

This is because, Kuugongelwa-Amadhila added, Namibian laws do not dictate on how people can keep their money. There is also no law that forces businesses to only use a certain transaction method, she said.

Finance minister Ipumbu Shiimi added: "If the member is concerned about the records that are necessary for tax purposes, then that is needed. Everybody should have those records that can verify the sales that you have undertaken to ensure that you have paid the correct tax".

- compiled by Sakeus Iikela

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