….as Swapo MP browse dating site during parly sitting
Parliamentary discussions and debates can get very boring.
If you have ever watched parliamentary discussions in the National Assembly, you know it can sometimes be a rather boring affair. But in a quest for a little bit of personal a, a Swapo MP committed the ultimate faux pas. This boredom has resulted in lawmakers turning to reading newspapers and fiddling on their mobile phones and tablets to keep busy and find any plausible distraction as some of these discussions can be quite a challenge to follow. But does that count if you’re caught wondering around on dating sites in parliament?
Minister Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Tjekero Tweya was caught doing just that recently.
Twoo, which has over 11.9 million active users, is owned by Match Group Europe, which happens to be the same company that owns actually-popular dating app Tinder.
National Assembly speaker Peter Katjavivi urged lawmakers to observe the rules of the house at all times when approached this week.
“Our rules are very clear on the points you raised.
According to our Standing Rules and Orders, as reflected under rule116 – General Restrictions – A Member may not:(j) ‘converse aloud or read newspapers or any other paper not connected with the business under consideration’,” he said.
The shocking moment was caught on camera as Tweya decided to use his time to enjoy flipping through the popular “Twoo” dating site browsing through pictures of women rather than participate in the affairs of the House at the time.
The minister carried out the act while his counterpart, Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta was delivering a statement on the ratification of the SADC Protocol on Environment Management for Sustainable Development last week Wednesday.
In a response, Tweya defended himself by saying “ what kind of a man would I be if I denied your inquiry. I humbly apologise for being a red blooded member of the male species of homo sapiens. I rebuke myself for not following my own code of conduct.
During his time as information and technology minister, Tweya repeatedly called on Namibians to use the internet responsibly.
He even went as far as tabling a Social Media Use Policy tabled in the National Assembly mid-last year that made it mandatory for every state institution to set up social media accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp which have become popular for debating national issues.
There has been outrage in the past over the ethical conduct of MPs in parliament, in most cases MPs openly read newspapers or magazines while sessions are underway.
This happened despite the Code of Conduct for Members of the National Assembly indicating that “MPs must act in good faith at all times”.
It further states that lawmakers must avoid any behaviour that may compromise their standing in public such as criminal behaviour, sexual harassment, insolvency and dishonesty.
Tweya’s act came days before China’S Huawei donated 157 Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite tablets to Namibian members of Parliament to the tune of N$700 000, minister of information and communication technology, Stanley Simataa has disclosed.
According to a Nampa report in which information and technology minister Stanley Simataa is quoted, the donation was part of Huawei’s corporate social responsibility to the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.
Members of both houses, the National Assembly and National Council, each received a brand-new tablet.
Additionally, the staff offices in both the NC and NA each received five tablets.
Simataa said they solicited the donation as part of Parliament’s drive to operate digitally and virtually in a bid to improve its efficiency in executing its legislative duties.
“We will be able to save on costs related to printing of materials distributed to Parliament and enable MPs to operate virtually for as long as there is connectivity,” Simataa said. Local telecommunication company, Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) provided the MPs with sim cards, Simataa noted. Tweya concluded his response via sms by asking for forgiveness for the “distraction”.
Additional reporting by Nampa