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Putting parliament online proving to be expensive

Some ICT companies are charging as much as N$20 000 per day to put parliament online, National Assembly spokesperson David Nahogandja has said.
The National Assembly has been affected by Covid-19 and this time the tabling of the national budget will not be attended by the public while some members of the house will be separated in another room.
Questions have been raised as to why the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Peter Katjavivi, has not employed tech-platforms like Zoom for instance which allows for mass-participation in real-time.
“That is one of the options and many options have been considered. But you see, technology is advanced somewhere and not everywhere in the world. So what happened is that we happily chose the option of teleconferencing, connecting our conference rooms to the chamber with the view that members will be able to participate.
But then the cost that is involved is way out of our hands and that is the money that we don’t have. If I can give you a tip, we have some quotations that are asking N$20 000 per day. Just imagine. These are service providers. Parliament itself is not an ICT service provider. If a house must sit for five days, you must prepare and connect to everyone. You must be prepared to pay about N$100 000 per week. Do we have that money? No we don’t,” said Nahogandja.
He said Parliament cannot presently stretch out its limited resources for this undertaking while there is uncertainty due to Covid-19.
He declined to answer what role the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology was playing saying they can speak for themselves.
Meanwhile, the delay in the tabling of the national budget has seen the National Assembly being postponed.
Member will be social-distanced and taken through the Covid-19 procedures to mitigate the risk of contamination.
However, so far, Namibia’s official statistical data shows that the country has 16 cases so far while 13 people have recovered.
Despite, deputy health minister Ester Muinjangue said this was no time to be complacent

Wonder Guchu

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