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Constituency boundaries questioned

2020-09-14  Eveline de Klerk

Constituency boundaries questioned
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The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has refuted claims that it has changed constituency boundaries at Walvis Bay.
The claims surfaced on Friday after some residents, especially those living in the Kabeljou area including streets Frankie Abraham, Marlyn Cresent, Dolpin Cresent are now part of the rural constituency.
Political party representatives at Walvis Bay over the weekend also expressed their concern over the issue, saying that at least 90% of Walvis Bay was under the urban constituency.

Speaking on Friday, Popular  Democratic Movement party member Richard Hoaeb said that the change was never made public through any available platforms by the respective authorities.
“It is also unclear whether it was tabled in National Assembly and gazetted and when it was approved. We are currently busy with investigations but in the mean time, familiarise yourself with the new changes,”Hoaeb told his party members over the weekend.

Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge on Friday also said that they do not know the motive behind the rezoning  as most of the people only found out during the current supplementary registration of voters. He then appealed to residents to make sure they change their cards accordingly.
Meanwhile, chief electoral officer of ECN Theo Mujoro yesterday told New Era that they work according to maps that were issued by the surveyor general.
“That is the institution that have the official mandate to issue maps of local authority and constituency boundaries. In other words changing and adjusting boundaries are not the mandate of ECN,” he said.

Mujoro then explained that it might also be an oversight and that the maps might have not been used correctly in the past.
“Let us suppose that there was an oversight of a map that was not correctly used in the past and we are doing or using it correctly.  I am challenging anyone who can come forward and  show a map that proves things otherwise, but for now, we have a duty to follow the officially submitted map,” Mujoro said.
According to Mujoro, it is important to note that all, including people who were registered differently from the past are still part of Walvis Bay and are eligible to take part in the local authority as well as the regional council elections this year.
Currently, part of Narraville and a small portion of 
Kuisebmond as well as Longbeach and Utuseb falls under the rural constituency. 

2020-09-14  Eveline de Klerk

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