MPs at odds on matters Presidential

MPs at odds on matters Presidential

OPPOSITION parties plan to give the Swapo Party’s candidate in the Presidential Elections, Hifikepunye Pohamba, a run for his money, an opposition MP in the National Council said yesterday.

The DTA’s Sampie Cloete teased ruling party MPs that Pohamba would not make a second term if indeed he won through in the first round. Swapo MPs, who appeared to take them as seriously as they were made, dismissed the remarks.But Cloete did not mind.”We will make it difficult for him,” thundered the former Rehoboth teacher.He was contributing to the Former Presidents Pension and Other Benefits Bill, which he does not support.Cloete said that because of Namibia’s high employment rate of close to 40 per cent, former Presidents could not be given luxuries.”We do not have such big resources available and we cannot compare ourselves to South Africa, which has a strong economy, or other oil- and diamond-rich countries,” he said.These comments appeared to anger National Council Deputy Chairperson, Margareth Mensah.She said she supported the idea that the current State House should be given to President Nujoma as a gift, as he had done a lot for the nation.Swapo’s Johny Hakaye lashed out at opposition MPs.He accused them of asking silly questions, such as how much the President earns per month.He claimed that people, such as Congress of Democrats MP Nora Schimming-Chase, knew very well how much the President received per month.He alleged that people like Chase and Ben Uulenga were against the bill simply because they knew they would never be President.Hafeni Ndemula, also a ruling party MP, said opposition members should appreciate what the Government was trying to give to President Nujoma and future former presidents, as it was through Nujoma’s leadership that peace and stability reigned in Namibia.”Hit him,” said a Swapo MP, directing his comment at Cloete.”I am not a child, I can take any punch,” Cloete fired back as the House burst into laughter.Swapo MPs, who appeared to take them as seriously as they were made, dismissed the remarks.But Cloete did not mind.”We will make it difficult for him,” thundered the former Rehoboth teacher. He was contributing to the Former Presidents Pension and Other Benefits Bill, which he does not support.Cloete said that because of Namibia’s high employment rate of close to 40 per cent, former Presidents could not be given luxuries.”We do not have such big resources available and we cannot compare ourselves to South Africa, which has a strong economy, or other oil- and diamond-rich countries,” he said.These comments appeared to anger National Council Deputy Chairperson, Margareth Mensah.She said she supported the idea that the current State House should be given to President Nujoma as a gift, as he had done a lot for the nation.Swapo’s Johny Hakaye lashed out at opposition MPs.He accused them of asking silly questions, such as how much the President earns per month.He claimed that people, such as Congress of Democrats MP Nora Schimming-Chase, knew very well how much the President received per month.He alleged that people like Chase and Ben Uulenga were against the bill simply because they knew they would never be President.Hafeni Ndemula, also a ruling party MP, said opposition members should appreciate what the Government was trying to give to President Nujoma and future former presidents, as it was through Nujoma’s leadership that peace and stability reigned in Namibia.”Hit him,” said a Swapo MP, directing his comment at Cloete.”I am not a child, I can take any punch,” Cloete fired back as the House burst into laughter.

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