Wednesday 12 May 2021
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June 16 not negotiable

• Plans to build the parliament are a legitimate need – Tweya
• Postpone June16 or get another venue – Ndeitunga
• June16 is still on – AR

Plans to construct a new parliament building have been long coming and it is thus the right time to go ahead with the project. This is what Information and Technology minister Tjekero Tweya said at a media briefing justifying the construction of the N$2.7 billion parliament building. Tweya has it that the project was in the past postponed due to other key national priority needs. “The need for the project is underscored by the inadequate space and the escalating maintenance cost of our old infrastructure. This is why it has been on the plan for all these years, it is not a new project … In this regard, there is no doubt about it, there is a need, a legitimate need, for a new Parliament to be constructed,” said Tweya. Refusing to share the explicit cost of the parliament, Tweya, who constantly evaded questions, said there is a need to plan. “If you don’t plan, you plan to fail; you have to spend time and money on planning. The more you spend in planning, the better the implementation,” justified Tweya.

Contrary to the masses that have been against the building of this infrastructure, Tweya sealed his support on the building saying that it would be an answer to the high unemployment rate in the country. “Those who will be employed at this project will be able to buy bread.” Meanwhile, Namibian Police Inspector-General, Lieutenant-General Sabastian Ndeitunga yesterday called on the Affirmative Repositioning leaders to consider moving the planned ‪#‎June16‬ demonstration to another date, as the event apparently coincides with a state visit by the Indian President Shri Pranab Mukherjee. However, the AR leadership remained adamant that the event would go ahead as planned. AR said its lawyers remain on standby with a completed urgent application for filing should the police insist on the postponement of the event. The group gave the police until 08h00 this morning to respond. AR maintains that they will continue with #June16 to make sure that they physically prevent this building from taking shape. The youth activists (AR) have been vocal about the proposed new parliament building and have mobilised crowds drawn from cross the regions to march against the proposed establishment. AR chose June 16, a historical date to celebrate the African child, in reference to the children of Soweto, South Africa who stood up against the colonial Bantu education. “On this specific day, we expect to equally see the rise of Namibian youth for their voices to be heard. The parliament building cannot be allowed to be built in a democratic country,” said the AR.


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