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The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Loide Kasingo, has presented the amended draft Standing Rules and Orders of the National Assembly to the House for approval. 

The draft rules encompass rules of procedure for both the National Assembly and its various committees, including the standing, spending, and select committees. 

Loide Kasingo highlighted that the rules have been fine-tuned to align with international conventions and practices.

She emphasised the importance of having clear and independent rules of procedure for the committees to ensure efficient and effective governance.

One of the key aspects addressed in the draft rules is the need for more robust debates and participation in parliamentary committees. 

"In the draft revision, the rules have also been clustered into various legislative or lawmaking chapters for easy reference and orderly division to follow each other. We have also established rules for virtual meetings for both the Assembly and its committees in the event of a forced majority. The importance of the need to have clear and independent Rules of Procedure for the Committee of the National Assembly becomes more evident and interactive for efficient, effective governance, management, and administrative demonstration of balancing priorities. The current spending rules do not adequately elaborate on the rules for establishing functions and policies. Therefore, it will become absolutely necessary to formalise the governance of the committee to make it part of the main body of the National Assembly."

National Assembly Speaker Professor Peter Katjavivi expressed strong support for the draft standing rules and orders presented by the Deputy Speaker. 

He emphasised the importance of carefully reviewing each rule to ensure it is given due consideration.

"We need to take these rules one by one and ensure we do justice to each of them. If there's a particular issue of concern, we should address it and then proceed with the rest to avoid unnecessary delays. I proposed treating the subject with the same thoroughness as if it were at the committee level, allowing ample time to review and discuss each rule. The important thing is that we need to get them done as soon as possible, but I'm not proposing that we rush. We must do justice to them."

Despite the urgency expressed by both Deputy Speaker Kasingo and Speaker Professor Katjavivi, the consideration of the draft rules has been deferred for ten working days. This decision aims to provide members with additional time to thoroughly review the rules before their adoption.

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Serafia Nadunya