February 15, 2006

Pass anti-poverty laws, president Pohamba tells Parliament

Lawmakers have to focus on passing legislation that will improve the socio-economic conditions of ordinary Namibians, laws that will give jobs, improve the provision of services and reduce their poverty. This was spelled out by President Hifikepunye Pohamba, when he opened Parliament, saying he expects a blitz of legislation aimed at uplifting people.

Pohamba noted that a number of laws passed by Parliament in 2005 had already come into effect and he said he believed they would contribute significantly to the socio-economic development of the country. Being a young country, he said Namibia was still introducing laws that reflected and reinforced its democratic values and system of governance. Pohamba added that Government would continue to repeal laws inherited from the South African dispensation. The President once again reiterated his resolve to root out corruption and appealed to the nation and lawmakers to render maximum support to the Anti-Corruption Commission which he inaugurated two weeks ago. He also singled out the Anti-Corruption Act that was passed by Parliament in 2003 as a "landmark" in promoting good governance, accountability and transparency in the country.

Pohamba said he was pleased to note the efforts of the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the National Council in making parliamentary processes more accessible to ordinary citizens, saying this was important in fostering democracy. "It is only fitting and necessary that the participation of the general public in the legislative process is encouraged and promoted at all times," said Pohamba. The President once again appealed to lawmakers not to exclude people living with disabilities from parliamentary processes. Ramps to the entrance of the Tintenpalast have been built for easier access to the building, although a lift to the upper floors is yet to be installed. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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