WINDHOEK, 16 JUN – China’s Huawei donated 157 Huawei MediaPad M3 Lite tablets to Members of Parliament (MPs) to the tune of N.dollars 700 000, Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), Stanley Simataa has disclosed.
Responding to questions sent by Nampa on Friday, Simataa said the donation was part of Huawei’s corporate social responsibility to the information and communication technology (ICT) sector.
Members of both houses, the National Assembly (NA) and National Council (NC) each received a brand-new tablet.
Additionally, the staff offices in both the NC and NA each received five tablets.
Simataa said they solicited the donation as part of Parliament’s drive to operate digitally and virtually in a bid to improve its efficiency in executing its legislative duties.
“We will be able to save on costs related to printing of materials distributed to Parliament and enable MPs to operate virtually for as long as there is connectivity,” Simataa said.
Local telecommunication company, Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) provided the MPs with sim cards, Simataa noted.
NA members received their gadgets on Thursday.
When approached for comment on the donation and how it aids them in executing their responsibilities, Attorney General, Albert Kawana and Public Enterprises Deputy Minister, Veikko Nekundi wanted to be given more time to test the gadgets before they could comment.
Asked if it was justifiable for MPs, who earn relatively high salaries to receive free gadgets that they can easily afford, Popular Democratic Movement’s (PDM) Vipuakuje Muharukua said they were entitled to them.
“Mind you, it is not a treat. It is an entitlement. It is something that we were supposed to receive at the beginning but due to the budgetary constraints, it is very late,” he said.
He said the tablets are not meant for personal usage, but strictly for them to do their jobs.
“The instruction is clear when we received them, that this is not for your child or spouse. It is for you to carry out your duties as an MP,” he stressed.