NamNet to champion free and fair elections

The Namibian Civil Society Non-State Actors Network (NamNet) says the organisation will contribute to free and fair elections in Namibia, characterised by high citizenry participation.

NamNet was launched on Monday with the goal of promoting and strengthening the collective voices of Namibian civil society, facilitating meaningful engagement with the government and ensuring that Namibia’s natural resources benefit all of its citizens.

NamNet chairperson Mahongora Kavihuha said NamNet will operate independently with development agencies to ensure that it remains driven by Namibian civil society from the onset.

“As NamNet, we pledge to work with our president and the government at large, as well as other partners in ensuring that we work collaboratively towards achieving the development goals of our country.

“We shall in consultation with our members design mechanisms that will help contribute towards the holding of free and fair elections in Namibia, characterised by high citizenry participation,” he said.

Kavihuha is among the seven founding members of NamNet, which collectively represents about 1 150 members.

He said the network will advocate and advance policies that will ensure that the wealth of Namibian resources is utilised for the greater good of all its citizens.

“We have also taken note of the recent oil and gas discoveries and the developments associated around green hydrogen and the related industry development efforts. As actors organised through NamNet, we see it as our responsibility – as individuals and as a collective – to advocate and advance policy propositions that will ensure that the wealth of resources Namibia is endowed with, is going to be utilised for the greater good of our people and that of the planet.

“We believe that the country’s natural resources belong to its citizens. Our quest and call around this is for our government to adhere to the practices of greater transparency and accountability, so as to root out any corruptible seeds the enemies against progress may want to sow.

“One step towards a greater commitment towards transparency will be for our government to take up membership of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a global body that promotes open and accountable management of oil, gas, minerals and other natural resources.”

Kavihuha added that some of the objectives are to promote accountability and transparency by holding authorities and institutions to high standards of governance to counter corruption.

“We respect that even in civil society, there will be issues around which we may not find common agendas, however, the contribution of NamNet in such a situation is on a needs basis, to facilitate research and provide evidence-based propositions which can inform and guide development policy formulation.

“We would like to request our government to recognise civil society as a critical and reliable partner, who on the one hand dares to speak out and raise concerns publicly or at other appropriate platforms, while at the same time being a reliable partner when it comes to ensuring the sustainable and equitable development for all Namibians.

“NamNet shall not take on issues which its members are already working on. NamNet shall prioritise and advance those strategic high-level issues around which common ground is found,” he said.

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