Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) MP Lukas Hamata tabled a motion to seek and put forth recommendations that would minimise the need for long-distance deployments of spouses.

Hamata said that long-distance marriages are sensitive in terms of critical decision-making among spouses, which can cause irreversible harm to relationships.

"Long-distance marriages are fragile and delicate and must be handled with care. They are units where members are at crossroads in many aspects of their lives, especially when making critical decisions. Mishandling of issues in these families can lead to irreparable damage to members."

He further stressed that long-distance marriages cause changes in roles, which in turn could affect household income.

He recommended that workplace deployment policies need to be put in place to affect long-distance deployments of spouses, such as tax incentives or financial benefits to employers who actively support couples, family reunification programmes, counselling, and support services.

According to Namibia's Vision 2030, the ideal family in Namibia has always been that both parents should raise the child and that the extended family and the community would support them in this regard. This ideal family has deteriorated in many cases.

Hence, Hamata highlighted the significance of both parents' inputs in their children's lives.

"As regards parenting, it is a full-time job that requires parenting input from both parents. The absence of a parent for a prolonged period, therefore, leads to varied developmental gaps in children that include antisocial behaviour, absenteeism, and delinquency."



Joleni Shihapela