During the week in review, the National Assembly covered a wide range of its duties, including ministerial statements, reports, bills, and motions. The issue of quorum and questions and answers were discussed as follows:
On Tuesday 8 October, the Speaker of the National Assembly announced that his office received a petition from members of Fridays for Future Windhoek, who were calling for the adoption of their responses to the measures proposed in the National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan. The Speaker tabled the petition and moved that it be referred to the Standing Committee on Natural Resources for scrutiny.
In addition, the Minister of Land Reform Hon. Uutoni Nuyoma delivered a statement regarding the Acquisition of Farm Rusting No. 416 situated in Khomas.
The Auditor-General presented reports on the Accounts of the Ministry of Education, Art and Culture, Omuthiya Town Council, Diamond Board of Namibia, National Road Safety Council and Namibia Tourism Board for the financial year ended 31 March 2018. All the reports were referred to the National Council for review and scrutiny. “These reports emanate from the reviews carried out by the National Council and subsequent investigations, and a public hearing held with some Regional Councils and Local Authorities who were deemed to have seriously contravened the financial regulations,” said Hon. Mike Kavekotora, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
Furthermore, the Prevention and Combating of Pollution of the Sea by Oil Amendment Bill [B. 4-2019] passed without amendment. The bill was introduced to amend the Prevention and Combating of Pollution of the Sea by Oil
Act, 1981, “so as to insert some definitions; to substitute the definition of “prohibited area”; to require permission of the Minister for the transfer of oil and other harmful substances between ships and tankers in harbours and prohibited areas; to increase the penalties for certain offences; and to provide for incidental matters”. Other bills such as the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority Bill [B. 11-2018], Financial Institution and Market Bill [B. 13-2018] and Financial Services Adjudicator Bill [B.10-2018] are still being debated.
Notably, the National Assembly is regularly unable to complete its duties because a quorum is not reached. Members of the ruling party in particular are absent, leading to the deferral of votes on crucial legislation. Opposition party members are more often present.