National Council rejects Local Authorities Amendment Bill

The Local Authorities Amendment Bill of 2015 was Wednesday rejected by the National Council (NC), responsible for reviewing proposed legislation before it is sent back to the National Assembly (NA) and Cabinet, and possibly signed into law by the head of state when all bodies are satisfied.
Members of the NC strongly opposed the Bill that was tabled in the NA during No-vember 2015 and re-ferred for discussion.
NC members found the amendments of the Bill to centralise powers and create a system of bureaucracy, while the Namibian Government has a goal to decen-tralise powers and accelerate develop-ment.
Deputy Minister of Ve-terans Affairs, Hilma Nikanor, who also ob-jected to the Bill, said the power local aut-horities are entitled to cannot be taken to cen-tral government, as this will render them tooth-less and in the end re-sult in them being in-effective in their ser-vice delivery.
This, she said, was with reference to the amended provisions of the Bill that the appointment of a chief executive officer (CEO) will be done by the management com-mittee of the local authority, but the line minister should solicit approval.
Chief Whip of the NC, Lebbius Tobias also noted that majority local authorities that participated in the public hearing on the Amendment Bill last week Friday, indicated that they were not consulted on the contents of the Bill and thus could not make valid contributions to the discussion.
Other issues raised on the amendments of the Bill were powers of local authority councils and restrictions on the sale of immovable property and alienation thereof.
The Amendment Bill will be referred back to the NA with the amendments for reconsideration. The NC will resume on 11 February 2016.
NAMPA

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