• June 3rd, 2020

Citizenry and democracy in Namibia

Edmund Sikisa Ndjavera

The Namibian Constitution guarantees inclusivity through the system of proportional representation and so far we have held five parliamentary and presidential elections since we attained independence in 1990. 
All these elections were accepted by both regional and international observers as free and fair. This year, 2019, we will hold our sixth round of parliamentary and presidential elections, proving that Namibia is committed to regular and credible elections.

This is a period where citizens get a chance to choose their President, their members in the National Assembly, in regional and local authorities as a right to all eligible citizens of the country.  Article 17 of the Namibian Constitution writes and Professor Petter Katjavivi the Speaker of Parliament has quoted in the voter’s education guideline: “All citizens shall have the right to participate in peaceful activity intended to influence the composition and policies of government.” “All citizens shall have the right to form and join political parties and, subject to such qualifications prescribed by law as necessary in a democratic society, to participate in the conduct of public affairs, whether directly or through freely chosen representatives.

“Every citizen who has reached the age of eighteen (18) years shall have the right to vote and who has reached the age of twenty-one (21) years to be elected to public office, unless otherwise provided herein.” It is against this backdrop I am calling upon the fellow youth to stand up in numbers to show their democratic right by voting for the leaders of their choice. 

Let’s look back at the recent Ondangwa by-election –  more than 16 000 voters registered to vote but only less than 4 000 voters participated in the process.  It’s so sad that we are tired of voting but sitting out there and expect development but we haven’t given our votes for the development to come. 
If the government does not perform to the satisfaction of the voters, they can vote for a different political party or candidate in the next election but if you’re not voting, who are you going to blame? 

We all know that the process of voting is a bit tiring but in a democratic country that’s the only way that will ensure that government is answerable to its people.  Definition: Elections are the process by which members of a community or country choose representatives to hold positions at various levels of government but if you are not choosing, who are you going to hold accountable and the same person who has been elected by others will be there to enjoy your taxes during their era. 

It really doesn’t help for citizens, more especially the youth that are the leaders of today and tomorrow, not to participate in any process election. Some processes need to be sacrificed for the development that we want. 

Lastly let me call upon all the youth movements/leagues, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations and mostly political parties for more awareness and information sharing on the importance of citizens  to vote, which are still left with political parties or members of the public that are aspiring to contest for any elections, either presidential, National Assembly, regional or local elcetions. 

To my fellow youth I am reminding you once again that the registration for you to get the voters cards is on its way on the ground and the elections are also coming up in November this year 2019 – so let’s show that we are the change that we want to see and in five years we holding our representatives accountable by voting for them now. 

Yours in freedom 
* Edmund Sikisa Ndjavera, Epukiro youth activist 
@ edmudn@yahoo.co.uk

Staff Reporter
2019-06-28 10:18:01 | 11 months ago

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