Source: The Namibian
by Ndapewoshali Shapwanale
SWAPO has instructed the National Council to pass the controversial Citizenship Bill.
Swapo party chief whip in the National Council Lebbius Tobias allegedly called fellow party MPs individually to say he has orders from ‘seniors’ for them to pass the bill so that it can be gazetted before Thursday.
Thursday is the deadline for government to give citizenship rights to a child born in Namibia to Dutch parents. Yesterday, Tobias said that he cannot comment on the matter, and can only speak to The Namibian once he arrives from Johannesburg at noon today.
“Let us speak tomorrow. I am in Johannesburg now, and will be in Namibia tomorrow,” Tobias said, despite sources saying he was expected to land at 19h30 last night.
Members of the National Council are not happy with this instruction, as they feel that they have taken an oath to uphold the Namibian Constitution, and are now expected to go against it.
The National Council had referred the bill for consultations because they felt the intended changes needed wider discusssions and clarification.
The rush to pass the law is believed to be motivated by the recent court ruling, which instructed the home affairs ministry to grant citizenship to a child of Dutch parents who are in Namibia on work permits. Home affairs was given a deadline of 30 days to grant the citizenship.
Home affairs and immigration minister Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana said yesterday in reference to the ruling that the law is aimed at preventing the dishing out of citizenship left, right and centre as this will create problems which will affect future generations.
Read full article The Namibian website.