Aminuis constituency councillor, Peter Kazongominja, has urged his fellow members of the National Council to march to the finance ministry and compel minister Ipumbu Shiimi to top their budget after a drastic cut rendered their functions challenging to roll out.
He was speaking in the National Council before it adjourned until further notice yesterday afternoon.
“We should march. We should! Our house has become very much ineffective, and with this bit of budget that we are receiving every financial year now, we will not be able to do our oversight work. We are not in a position to do whatever we want to do. We are not comfortable really as a house.
“So, we should go to that extent and demand. We should not plead. We should demand, say that our budget should be increased. Do you look into my activity plan before cutting? So, the way he (Shiimi) increases on other votes, he should also increase on this one. There is no way that he can now say there is no money in Namibia,” he said.
Some members of the National Council on Thursday also lamented that the finance ministry is attempting to cripple their oversight activities by drastically cutting their budget.
The National Council has been reduced from the N$100 million allocations it enjoyed two years ago down to N$88 million, and now they are hanging on a paltry N$85 million.
The figure is said to be a drop in the ocean considering that a single committee takes up as much as between N$500 000 and N$700 000 to carry out over-sight work effectively.
Members yesterday expressed that Shiimi was deliberately sabotaging them by making massive cuts without considering the work has to be done.
Rundu rural’s Paulus Mbangu also led the charge at Shiimi’s budget.
Mbangu expressed that the cabinet, as part of the executive, was unconstitutionally subverting the work of a separate arm of the state.
“Some of these ministries should not even be stand-alone ministries. They should be departments. Let them cut on that wasteful expenditure instead of cutting on a budget of the state organ. The legislature is an organ of the state. We are appealing to the minister that come next year, because already it’s too late, we should go back to the budget of the previous two years,” he said.
The National Council consists of regional councils whose work is to carry out oversight work to ensure that monies allocated to the regions for developmental purposes are used.
“If the budget is cut, and we have a lot to perform as a member in the house with oversight functions, it affects our performance when it comes to visiting projects in the regions, public enterprises and wherever we are entitled to visit.
“So, it will be hard to perform if we do not have enough for our activities. Each committee has its fund, planned activities and they have to deliver in each quarter. So, our budget needs to be improved a little bit so that we can do our monitoring and evaluation,” said Gerard Shiimi, regional councillor for Elim.