THE Chief Justice of Namibia Peter Shivute said public law libraries remain the learning mechanisms and knowledge resources necessary to empower the citizens and ensure sustainable solution for national development.
Shivute made the remarks at Oshakati during a ceremony where legal textbooks were handed over by the Jack Mason Law and Democracy Initiative of Books for Africa.
Shivute pointed out that the law library cannot fulfill its purpose if it is empty or not fully equipped with legal reference works in the form of books.
“We as the Judiciary do not have all the needed resources at our disposal,” said Shivute, adding that the donated books will stock the library with valuable reference materials.
According to Shivute, the dream and wish is to have a fully stocked library.
“There is really a thirst for knowledge in the northern areas and members of the public are entitled to have access to the books,” said Shivute.
He also stated that the realization of this initiative at the Oshakati branch of the High Court was a strategic step towards decentralization of information and marked the expansion of legal reference libraries in Namibia which is in line with the country’s decentralization policy.
Shivute explained that the library will be able to effectively serve the public’s need for legal resources, to assist members of the public who are interested in the resources to develop themselves and know their fundamental human rights and freedoms.
“This valuable resource should be the catalyst that sparks critical thinking and civic engagement around important national issues for all Namibian citizens,” he added.
He urged everyone going to make use of the books to preserve them and ensure that they are put to proper use, as a reflection of the mutual respect and commitment to future endeavors with the donors.
Speaking at the same occasion, Lane Ayres who is director of Jack Mason Law and Democracy Initiative, said that being a lawyer, he values the rule of law. “Helping to spread the rule of law is heartwarming,” he said.
According to him, the Book For Africa initiative has so far sent a total of 45 million books to 55 African countries.
More than 200 titles of books valued at more than US$20 000 were sent to Namibia.