On the eve of the 34th Constitutional Day anniversary, Speaker of the National Assembly Professor Peter Katjavivi and a member of the Constituent Assembly recalled the complexities of drafting the Namibian Constitution.

Namibia's Constitution was adopted on February 9, 1990, with Dr. Hage Geingob as Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly.

He said Geingob experienced many challenges as Chairperson but showed great leadership. 

"I remember one particular issue. We had been having intense discussions around the issue of capital punishment, and while different opinions were shared in the room, we eventually asked ourselves where we derived the mandate to do away with capital punishment. In the end, being a Christian country, Hage turned to the leadership of all our churches for consultation. They were called in and briefed on the impasse we were facing. The churches requested that they be given a few days, after which they returned and said, Have courage and do it. And that's how the abolition of capital punishment found its way into the constitution."

He said the elements of the constitution are the cause of the smooth transition of power, as witnessed on Monday during the swearing-in of the country's 4th President, Dr. Nangolo Mbumba.

He said President Geingob's legacy is synonymous with how Namibia's constitution is revered globally.

"He left a constitution that is hailed all over the world; it's an important document that is up-to-date and contains important elements, including the question of climate change and the question of the environment. The Namibian Constitution is much more updated and much more comprehensive in covering important issues."

Photo Credits
Parliament of the Republic of Namibia


Gordon Joseph