16 JUNE 2021
Parliament suspended – still
National Assembly sittings for this week (15, 16, and 17 June 2021) have been suspended due to an increased number of staff and Members of Parliament (MPs) testing positive for Covid-19.
The parliamentary press secretariat on Tuesday announced that Speaker Peter Katjavivi has also tested positive for Covid-19. Six staff and three MPs were then confirmed positive.
Normal sessions of the House are expected to resume next week on 22 June 2021.
The Covid-19 situation in Namibia has turned for the worse over the last four weeks following an exponential increase in numbers of infections, particularly in Windhoek where 52% of the total cases in the country were recorded.
In response, the government has announced stricter public health and safety protocols applicable until 30 June.
Call for moratorium on oil & gas exploration
Local and international activists are urging the Namibian government to impose an immediate moratorium on all oil and gas exploration activities in the two Kavango regions.
They further call on the government to initiate a transboundary and multi-national strategic environmental assessment for the entire oil development life cycle before Canadian company ReconAfrica is allowed to continue with its drilling and exploration activities there.
The organisations – Saving Ovakango's Unique Life (SOUL), the Women's Leadership Centre (WLC), and the Namibia San Council (NSC) – made these calls at a hearing on the matter before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Natural Resources on 15 June.
Appearing alongside these organisations were representatives of the Kavango East and Kavango West Regional Conservancy and Community Forest Association that presented the parliamentary committee with a number of objection letters from community organisations that were submitted to the regions' communal land boards last month.
These letters are objecting to ReconAfrica's application for the right of leaseholds over land where it has commenced with drilling and exploration activities.
Chairperson of the parliamentary committee, Swapo MP Tjekero Tweya, said the committee's mandate is to investigate all claims made by the petitioners.
He said it will form an internal work plan for its future engagements with the various stakeholders.