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Date set for Ndonga Linena vote recount

2021-09-20  Maria Amakali

Date set for Ndonga Linena vote recount
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The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has identified 23 September as the date on which the vote recount for Ndonga Linena Constituency will be carried out.

The announcement follows the recent High Court order that nullified the election results of Ndonga Linena Constituency Regional Council Election and ordered a vote recount.

As a result of the nullification, swearing-in of the Swapo candidate, Kampota Shiwana, who was declared the winner, was declared null and void.

In June this year, the All People’s Party (APP) succeeded in securing a court order that compelled the ECN to furnish the party with the 57 rejected ballots from the elections. 

However, the ECN only managed to provide four of the 57 rejected ballots on 12 July. 

The APP claims irregularities took place during the elections, which saw Shiwana securing 1 073 votes, compared to APP’s Djami Balthazar Daniel, who obtained 1 061 votes. Shiwana was declared duly elected. 

This forced APP to challenge the outcome of the 25 November 2020 regional council elections after 57 ballots, cast in favour of its candidate, were declared spoilt after voters reportedly made crosses on the face of the candidate, instead of the appropriate box.

According to the APP, their agents observed on the day of the elections that 40 of the rejected ballots were in favour of their candidate. 

However, when their agents objected to the rejection of the ballots and requested recounts, the presiding officer refused.  

They further claim the presiding officer failed to record their requests in the occurrence book as prescribed by law. 

ECN CEO Theo Mujoro refuted the APP’s allegations, and said they have complied with the court order. 

In July, he said an arrangement was made through the APP’s legal team so that the ballots could be made available to the party as per court order. 

“All these are lies. Kanyetu himself was there. I personally facilitated the whole process, and he was there in person, accompanied by their lawyer, and the material was handed to them,” explained Mujoro. 

Questions sent to the ECN on the High Court order on 13 September were not answered.

 Instead, ECN’s spokesperson Lina Ndengu yesterday said the institution will issue a press statement in the week.

In a letter dated 17 September, directed to APP, IPC, PDM and Swapo party, ECN’s chief electoral and referenda officer Theo Mujoro notified the parties that for the scheduled recount, ECN will engage the former returning officer and presiding officer who were appointed for the Ndonga Linena to conduct the recount of the votes cast.

A refresher training will be provided to the officials.

The recount will take place at ECN’s headquarters in Windhoek. 

The political parties have been requested to delegate 12 representatives per political party to serve as election agents.

The parties are further required to appoint one representative per political party for the collection of the ballot boxes from ECN logistics stores. -

2021-09-20  Maria Amakali

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