Delays in implementing President Hage Geingob’s decision for the establishment of the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition have left Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani seething.
Venaani this week laid the blame squarely at the doors of the Public Office Bearers Commission (POBC) accusing the authorities at the office of having been dilly-dallying on the establishment of the office.
The Presidency last year announced the long-awaited establishment of the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition, which will see the occupant of that office entitled to more perks.
Once implemented, Venaani is expected to receive, among others, an official vehicle, with a dedicated driver and office personnel. At the moment, Venaani earns a package of about N$996 006 per year. This includes a housing allowance of N$159 222 and municipal allowances of N$48 240.
“The authorities and POBC are dilly-dallying on the establishment of the office. We are at a level where no staff is allocated and no budget for the operationalisation of the office,” Venaani told New Era in an interview.
Welcoming Geingob’s decision last year, Venaani said the establishment of the office has a history of nearly four years and the POBC recommended this, to which the President granted approval nearly three years ago in tandem with commonwealth practice. In fact, he said, “We as a country are late, as our regional peers are far ahead.”
Also, political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah welcomed the establishment of the office, saying it was a right move in line with the country’s democracy.
“The official opposition is a second layer government, in terms of the electoral mandate, as a government in waiting. As such, the move is an indication that the President has perhaps realised the important role the official opposition, as a co-government, has in our democracy,” he said.
However, he said, it will come at a cost, considering all the perks and benefits it comes
with. “I also hope that now that the official opposition is part of the gravy train, it will not neutralise its stance on issues,” he said.