Namibia: Changing the Law Does Not Undermine Rule of Law

Published: 2/Août/2016
Source: The Namibian

By Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana

FOLLOWING recent media attacks and innuendos by certain individuals and bodies aimed at the ministry of home affairs and the attorney general, it has become necessary for us to shed light and allay fears that have been created by such statements in both print and electronic media, inclusive of social media.

We have carefully followed the discussions in the media regarding this matter, and a disturbing cartoon has emerged in [The Namibian] depicting the attorney general holding a white lady at knife-point; supposedly, the blind-folded white lady is democracy.

We do not know what is intended by this.

Although the meaning of this cartoon is open to subjective interpretation, its caption carries the message that justice has been raped, and that government is undermining constitutional democracy.

This is far from the truth.

It has also been advanced that the Namibian Citizenship Amendment Bill was “rushed”. The effects of the judgement need expedient attention, and government has not breached any prescribed timelines in bringing this proposed amendment to Cabinet. “Rushed”? According to whose standard or satisfaction?

My statement in parliament motivating the need for the enactment of the bill is self-explanatory. I assure the nation that the purpose we seek to achieve with this amendment is a legitimate one, and my statement is available for all to have regard to.

This ministry is entitled to react to the effects created by the Supreme Court judgement, and this is in the best interest of this country, and not for “narrow interests” of government as reported.

We are the ones sitting with implementation difficulties because of the judgement, and the elected leaders of this country have also considered the matter and are agreeable to have these effects dealt with.

The first option for this ministry and the attorney general was to amend the Constitution. This option was agreed to by the Cabinet Committee on Legislation and, eventually, by Cabinet.

There was, however, a change of mind by the executive in the matter, which then led to us exploring what other route could be taken to achieve the same purpose that the constitutional amendment would have achieved.

The route we have now taken was not our first option and this is not a secret, but it is provided for in the Constitution.

I fail to understand what is unbecoming in doing something that is provided for by the Supreme Law of the Land. Article 81 is clear in this regard.

Read full article on The Namibian website.

Themes: Acquisition de la nationalité, Acquisition par les enfants
Regions: Namibie
Year: 2016