ONGWEDIVA - The Deputy Minister of Works and Transport James Sankwasa yesterday lashed out at public office bearers who put infightings, personal interests ahead of national issues.
Sankwasa was irked that the Namibian Buses and Taxi Association (Nabta) is using its office squabbles to sabotage the Road Public Passenger Transport Bill consultative workshop that was held at Ongwediva yesterday.
In his address, Sankwasa informed the few people in attendance that the Nabta president Vespa Muunda allegedly informed their members not to come to the workshop.
“Despite the efforts done to get the stakeholders to the workshop, I am informed that the infighting, personal interests between the president and secretary general of Nabta has sabotaged the workshop,” said Sankwasa.
“We have personal interests that have risen above national issues and this is regrettable; whoever holds a public office should put national interests first before you put your personal interests,” the irked deputy minister said further.
The workshop sought to seek input on the Road Public Passenger Transport Bill before it is passed as law.
The Bill being deliberated on will replace the current Transport Act of 1977, which is not responsive to the current environment in the country.
Sankwasa said Namibia cannot develop if there are individuals sabotaging of government dealings.
He said government spent a lot of money in order to have the ministry’s officials at the event and questioned what government will get in return for the expenditure incurred.
“Should government proceeds to Parliament and approve the Bill as law, the same stakeholders will come and say they were not consulted. How do we operate in this country and what do we want to achieve as a country,” questioned Sankwasa.
He maintained it is important for the stakeholders to consult before it goes to push a bill, citing that the same bill will be applicable to the same stakeholders who were not consulted.
Nabta’s President Vespa Muunda denied preventing their members from the workshop and is demanding a public apology from the deputy minister.
“This is serious and damaging. He must apologise or tell the person who fed him with information to apologise publicly. I will not leave a stone unturned,” said Muunda.
Nabta Secretary General Pendapala Nakathingo claimed their president prevent members from attending the workshop.
“That is the information we obtained on Friday unless someone used his name,” said Nakathingo.
Some of the bus and taxi operators New Era spoke to denied ever having been prevented from attending the meeting. The crowd at the meeting started picking up after some bus operators were collected from the bus terminal to come to the meeting.
2019-09-24 07:03:29 8 months ago