THAT the Namibian Constitution should be studied from school up to university level as a foundational course was one of the Constitution Day commemoration requests from the founding Chairman of the Constituent Committee, founding Prime Minister and third President of the Republic of Namibia.
In a commemoration statement issued by State House Dr. Geingob said he will recommit to and intensify efforts that will continue to promote the purposes of the Namibian Constitution.
“Thus, in marking 30 years of the Constitution and respect for the rule of law, Namibians are celebrating another significant milestone. This milestone compels us to undertake a journey of introspection – about what has been achieved under Constitutional Government, and the shared challenges we face as a nation,” Dr. Geingob said.
The full statement reads as follows:
Today, 30 years ago, Namibians embraced a Democratic Constitution on 9 February 1990. The elected Namibian Government has been guided by the principles of the Constitution, which enjoins respect for the fundamental rights of all citizens, the rule of law and adherence to the doctrine of separation of powers between the Executive, the Legislative and Judicial organs of the State. Without doubt, the Constitution as a living and guiding document has served Namibia well.
Namibia has been marching on a path of peace, liberty, social progression and economic advancement. In the year of introspection, it is a path to which Namibians should rededicate with vigor, and persistently nurture, for Namibia’s democracy to grow, and for peace and justice to prevail, now and in the decades to come. If there are shortcomings in Governance processes and systems, the Constitution provides avenues for the settlement of disputes by aggrieved parties through the Courts.
Government has continued to buttress robust processes, systems and strong institutions. If and when these fell short, as articulated in the Constitution, an independent Judiciary has served as the final arbiter of disputes by aggrieved parties. Thus, in marking 30 years of the Constitution and respect for the rule of law, Namibians are celebrating another significant milestone. This milestone compels us to undertake a journey of introspection – about what has been achieved under Constitutional Government, and the shared challenges we face as a nation.
The Constitution is a living document. It is accessible to Namibians in no less than eight languages. Yes, there are challenges in making it more accessible, and these will be addressed to perfect this living document. It should be taught from school level up to university as a foundational course for it to be internalized by all. Scholars, academics and analysts should play their role by contributing in order to make the Namibian Constitution a better document. If certain provisions such as proportional representation had not been retained, the picture of political representation in parliament would have been different, with the Ruling Party SWAPO keeping all the seats. This attests to the compromises made for a better democracy to emerge.
As Head of State, I recommit to intensify efforts that will continue to promote the purposes of the Constitution, of which service delivery and socio-economic justice remain core demands in the democratic Constitution we founded on 9 February 1990. The Namibian Constitution is a living document and remains a crucial guide as we walk the journey of peace and prosperity.
As we celebrate three decades of the Constitution and the rule of law, I wish you all a Happy Constitution Day!