The National Council Parliamentary Standing Committees and civil society organisations held a workshop in Windhoek to enhance public participation in the oversight activities of the committees for the strengthening of democratic initiatives and social justice.
Civil society organisations in Namibia continue to play an important role in supporting human rights and democracy, as well as promoting transparency, accountability, and social justice.
However, very often, civil societies feel left out of national issues as their mandate is misunderstood.
The Vice Chairperson of the National Council, Victoria Kauma, pointed out that it is important for civil society organisations not to turn themselves into politicians and to focus on their mandate, which is to better collaborate in the development of the country and its citizens, as well as reduce inequalities.
''We therefore support a vibrant civil society because the sector often has access to critical information, and your proximity to the grassroots, just like us, the Regional Councillors, makes us good partners to identify and advocate for the needs of our people.''
Civic+264 coordinator Melanie Markus echoed that civil society organisations would like to take advantage of the increased personal and political freedoms by coming together, voicing their concerns, and advocating for greater inclusion in national affairs.
Speaking on the importance of social justice and oversight of parliament, Secretary to the National Council, Adv. Tousy Namiseb, pointed out some oversight challenges.
The workshop further informed stakeholders about the submission of oral and written memoranda to standing committees to aid oversight activities.