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Namibia Constitution: Chapter 06

THE CABINET

Namibia Constitution: Chapter 06

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Article 35 – Composition

1. The Cabinet shall consist of the President, the Prime Minister and such other Ministers as the President may appoint from the members of the National Assembly, including members nominated under Article 46(1)(b) hereof, for the purposes of administering and executing the functions of the Government.

2. The President may also appoint a Deputy-Prime Minister to perform such functions as may be assigned to him or her by the President or the Prime Minister.

3. The President or, in his or her absence, the Prime Minister or other Minister designated for this purpose by the President, shall preside at meetings of the Cabinet.

Article 36 – Functions of the Prime Minister

The Prime Minister shall be the leader of Government business in Parliament, shall co-ordinate the work of the Cabinet and shall advise and assist the President in the execution of the functions of Government.

Article 37 – Deputy-Ministers

The President may appoint from the members of the National Assembly, including members nominated under Article 46(1)(b) hereof, and the National Council such Deputy-Ministers as he or she may consider expedient, to exercise or perform on behalf of Ministers any of the powers, functions and duties which may have been assigned to such Ministers.

Article 38 – Oath or Affirmation

Before assuming office, a Minister or Deputy-Minister shall make and subscribe to an oath or solemn affirmation before the President or a person designated by the President for this purpose, in the terms set out in Schedule 2 hereof.

Article 39 – Vote of No Confidence

The President shall be obliged to terminate the appointment of any member of the Cabinet, if the National Assembly by a majority of all its members resolves that it has no confidence in that member.

Article 40 – Duties and Functions

The members of the Cabinet shall have the following functions:

  • (a) to direct, co-ordinate and supervise the activities of Ministries and Government departments including para-statal enterprises, and to review and advise the President and the National Assembly on the desirability and wisdom of any prevailing subordinate legislation, regulations or orders pertaining to such para-statal enterprises, regard being had to the public interest;
  • (b) to initiate bills for submission to the National Assembly;
  • (c) to formulate, explain and assess for the National Assembly the budget of the State and its economic development plans and to report to the National Assembly thereon;
  • (d)to carry out such other functions as are assigned to them by law or are incidental to such assignment;
  • (e) to attend meetings of the National Assembly and to be available for the purposes of any queries and debates pertaining to the legitimacy, wisdom, effectiveness and direction of Government policies;
  • (f) to take such steps as are authorised by law to establish such economic organisations, institutions and para-statal enterprises on behalf of the State as are directed or authorised by law;
  • (g) to formulate, explain and analyse for the members of the National Assembly the goals of Namibian foreign policy and its relations with other States and to report to the National Assembly thereon;
  • (h) to formulate, explain and analyse for the members of the National Assembly the directions and content of foreign trade policy and to report to the National Assembly thereon;
  • (i) to assist the President in determining what international agreements are to be concluded, acceded to or succeeded to and to report to the National Assembly thereon;
  • (j) to advise the President on the state of national defence and the maintenance of law and order and to inform the National Assembly thereon;
  • (k) to issue notices, instructions and directives to facilitate the implementation and administration of laws administered by the Executive, subject to the terms of this Constitution or any other law;
  • (I) to remain vigilant and vigorous for the purposes of ensuring that the scourges of apartheid, tribalism and colonialism do not again manifest themselves in any form in a free and independent Namibia and to protect and assist disadvantaged citizens of Namibia who have historically been the victims of these pathologies.

Article 41 – Ministerial Accountability

All Ministers shall be accountable individually for the administration of their own Ministries and collectively for the administration of the work of the Cabinet, both to the President and to Parliament.

Article 42 – Outside Employment

1. During their tenure of office as members of the Cabinet, Ministers may not take up any other paid employment, engage in activities inconsistent with their positions as Ministers, or expose themselves to any situation which carries with it the risk of a conflict developing between their interests as Ministers and their private interests.

2. No members of the Cabinet shall use their positions as such or use information entrusted to them confidentially as such members of the Cabinet, directly or indirectly to enrich themselves.

Article 43 – Secretary to the Cabinet

1. There shall be a Secretary to the Cabinet who shall be appointed by the President and who shall perform such functions as may be determined by law and such functions as are from time to time assigned to the Secretary by the President or the Prime Minister. Upon appointment by the President, the Secretary shall be deemed to have been appointed to such office on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission.

2. The Secretary to the Cabinet shall also serve as a depository of the records, minutes and related documents of the Cabinet.

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