National council members sworn in
Windhoek – Namibia’s fourth National Council members were sworn by the country’s Chief Justice Peter Shivute last week on Thursday. The National Council of Namibia is the upper chamber of the country’s bicameral Parliament of Namibia. The Council consists of 26 members who are chosen by regional councils, which are directly elected for a term of six-years. Each of the 13 regional councils chooses two of its members to serve on the National Council. A total of 14 new members, including two opposition members from the Kunene Region, Hendrik Goabaeb representing Sesfontein Constituency and Kazeongere Zerapi Tjeundo representing Opuwo Constituency of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and DTA respectively were sworn. Twelve SWAPO Party members who are returning to the National Council. Asser Kapere was re-elected Chairperson of the National Council with Margaret Mensah-Willaims also being re-elected as Vice Chairperson of the House. Hilma Nicanor is the new Chief Whip of the Swapo Party, she replacing Johnny Hakaye who was not re-elected as a regional councilor. In his acceptance speech Kapere said as they begin the journey of the fourth National Council, Councilors need to remember that the society expects from them as lawmakers to legislate laws that will address their plight. He said “Our people are affected negatively by social challenges, such as unemployment, HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, low levels of educational attainment and gender-based violence. Therefore, as members of Parliament we must work tirelessly to ensure a legislative framework that alleviate the adverse conditions of the people”. Meanwhile, as was the case with the Third national Council, the number of women in this National Council is seven, making up 27 percent of the lawmakers. Meanwhile 14 members which are 54 percent of the legislators are new members, with the remaining 12 members having been re-elected. After the ceremony, Kapere adjourned the house until further notice.