Economist Calls for Creation of Budget Office in Namibian Parliament

WINDHOEK – A notable push for enhancing parliamentary oversight on budgetary matters has emerged in Namibia, led by former academic Omu Kakujaha-Matundu, who advocates for the establishment of a dedicated budget office within the legislative body.

According to the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa), who addressed attendees at a mid-year budget review breakfast meeting in Windhoek on Tuesday, the Namibian Parliament’s capacity to effectively oversee budget execution remains limited. The lack of a specialized budget office, he suggests, hampers the legislative body’s ability to fulfill its mandate of fiscal scrutiny.

The economist, also a former lecturer at the University of Namibia, pointed out the existing budget committee’s limitations, suggesting that it lacks the technical acumen necessary for in-depth financial analysis, a capability he deems essential and comparable to the expertise within the Ministry of Finance. This gap, he argues, impedes parliamentarians, who come from various professional backgrounds, from exercising comprehensive oversight.

Speaker of the National Assembly, Peter Katjavivi, speaking at the same event, emphasized the constitutional role of parliamentarians as stewards of the nation’s finances. He underscored the importance of their responsibility to oversee the executive’s management of public funds, framing it as a sacred agreement with the citizens of Namibia to ensure prudent fiscal spending.

Katjavivi also highlighted the significance of the breakfast meeting, noting that the discussion on the mid-year budget would aid lawmakers in aligning Namibia’s financial strategies with its developmental goals for 2030. The meeting’s objective is to advance the understanding of fiscal policies among parliamentarians, fostering a commitment to transparency and accountability in the pursuit of prosperity, equity, and industrialization.

The call for a budget office signifies a critical step toward strengthening parliamentary oversight in Namibia, a move that could redefine the country’s approach to financial governance.