Pohamba Warns Against Complacency
Windhoek – Namibia must enact laws tailored to combat poverty, if it is to achieve goals set in the fourth National Development Plan, and develop into an industrialised nation by 2030, says President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
Speaking during opening of Parliament this past Tuesday, President Pohamba said the magnitude of poverty and unemployment, low living standards, lack of access to food, housing, quality education and health care are daily reminders of the unfinished by business lawmakers in achieving economic and social justice for all people.
President Pohamba said Namibia needs to intensify the implementation of policies and programmes that the government has put in place in order to move the country forward and improve the living standards of the people.
He stressed that Parliament should not only serve to deepen democracy, but also monitor development and hold to account the executive in implementing the mandates entrusted to them by the electorate.
“Good governance and democracy demand that we articulate and represent the needs and aspirations for our people.
“Thus, our Parliament should forge closer co-operation with our people, especially at grassroots level,” he said.
He urged the legislature to ensure people’s participation in democratic governance by facilitating the full articulation of their aspiration, values and choices in the development process.
“The well-being of the people should be at the centre of all development efforts. In this way, we can ensure that the empowerment of our people becomes a reality.
“Let us combine our efforts and deliver better services to our citizens.
“Let us build a fairer, secure and more prosperous Namibia,” he accentuated.
Among several Bills to be tabled before the 7th Session of the 5th Parliament this year are: Agricultural Enhancement Agents Bill, Audit Bill, Child Care and Protection Bill, Communal Land Reform Amendment Bill, Gaming and Entertainment Control BUI, Marriage Bill, Public Procurement Bill as well as Urban and Regional Planning Bill.
The President urged lawmakers to pass laws that improve service delivery and bring about a positive and lasting impact on the lives of Namibians, saying that, “If you fail to provide basic necessities to the people, your inaction will be tantamount to abdication of the sacred duty given upon you by the electorate.
“Democracy would be meaningless if our people were to remain poor and without enough food to eat.
“The right to vote would be meaningless if the elected leaders do not deliver on their promises of a better life and provision of public services to the people.”
Earlier, during the first Cabinet meeting of the year, the President appealed for speedy and decisive implementation of government policies and programmes aimed at combating poverty, unemployment, and under-development.
“We should learn from the lessons of the past and ensure that NDP4 is implemented without compromise,” Pohamba told his Cabinet.
He said all government offices, ministries and agencies must strive to achieve the targets set out in NDP4, adding that it is equally important to ensure that the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are strengthened.
NDP4 sets out the key development challenges for government such as human resource development, job creation, provision of infrastructure, changes in the ownership patterns of the economy and reduction in income inequality and poverty.
Equity ownership (black empowerment) of the economy is to be extended so that people from all sectors of the population have a stake in the economy and power to influence economic decisions.