NAMIBIA: LEGISLATION/NBC/8/11/17 SABANews 1
WINDHOEK – Opposition members in the Parliament of NAMIBIA have walked out of the National Assembly to protest against government insistence to table a Bill forcibly.
Urban and Rural Development Minister SOPHIA SHANINGWA had brought before them the Urban and Regional Planning Bill for debate.
However, the lawmakers emphasised on an earlier agreement by the House not to discuss land related matters until after the SECOND Land Conference, earlier scheduled for 18 SEPTEMBER.
President HAGE GEINGOB suspended until next year the discussions, expected to run over FOUR days, to allow for more consultations among all stakeholders in the vital national issue.
NBC News says Land Reform Minister UTONI NUJOMA had to withdraw the Land Bill, while a motion by SWANU Lawmaker USUTUAIJE MAAMBERUA on Land Resettlement fell out as well.
However, Minister SHANINGWA has insisted on having the Urban and Regional Planning Bill discussed – saying it mainly deals with urban planning.
She says if adopted, the proposed law will move approval of town plans from the Cabinet to regional councils and local authorities, reducing bureaucracy, speeding up urban planning and improving delivery of housing to the people.
Lawmakers from the POPULAR DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT, NUDO OF NAMIBIA, SWANU, WORKERS REVOLUTIONARY PARTY, and the UNITED DEMOCRATIC FRONT would not take it – and they walked out.
MPs of the RALLY FOR DEMOCRACY AND PROGRESS have been divided, with Secretary-General MIKE KAVEKORA leaving behind Vice-President STEVE BEZUIDENHOUDT, who has chosen to stay put.
NAMIBIA is facing serious problems with landless people, who have been expecting the ruling SWAPO Party to deliver on the pledges of the liberation struggle to correct settlement imbalances created under the apartheid rule./Sabanews/cam