RUNDU - The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) says it is ready to conduct the Katima Mulilo Urban constituency by-election set for 25 August.
Six candidates will be contesting to fill the vacancy caused by the death of councillor John Mukaya. Mukaya, who was a Swapo councillor, died in a car accident in May this year. The law dictates elections should be held within 90 days in an event of a vacancy.
“I can confirm that the ECN is fully prepared to conduct the by-election. In fact, we have already completed the supplementary registration of voters which took place from 21 to 23 June. Currently, we have about 14 262 registered voters,” ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro said.
Mujoro noted following the just ended supplementary registration process, they have displayed the provisional voters register for objections and no objections were recorded.
“We are currently performing some manual litigations on the provisional register which includes some integrity checks as part of our preparations before the register is finally gazetted,” he noted.
There are two independent candidates namely, Kubwima Poniso Millar and Nkando Gibson Kabuna. Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) is fielding Malipa Lynnette, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) nominated Marklee Mweti Matengu, Chripher Simasiku is the National Democratic Party (NDP) candidate and Kennedy Simasiku is from Swapo.
“The next item in terms of our schedule is to start with the design of the ballot papers and then obviously the planning of the ballot papers for the by-election. “I must also state here that we have scheduled a training exercise covering political party agents, polling officials and also members of the Namibian Police who will be deployed at the various polling stations during the forthcoming by-election.”
The training programme is scheduled for 19 to 21 August. Mujoro stated that the ECN is fully aware of the Covid-19 pandemic and fully supports the efforts of government and the health authorities, specifically in curbing the further spread of the coronavirus.
“For this reason, the ECN together with the Namibian Police, will ensure that all persons participating in the various aspects of this electoral process adhere or fully comply with the requisite Covid-19 protocols and measures,” he noted.
“On our part, our focus really would be on ensuring that everyone coming to the polling station should wear their masks, we will also ensure that we will keep proper order of the queues so that people observe social distancing and that their hands are sanitised. Importantly, we will also ensure to disinfect our electoral materials and equipments throughout the entire process.”
Mujoro further stated the ECN would continuously carry out voter education and information dissemination to make sure that when the electorate cast their ballots on 25 August, they are fully informed about the location of the polling stations as well as the operating hours in addition to the legal requirements about the actual polling process.
“So, in a nutshell, I’m happy to inform the Namibian nation, specifically the residents and electorate of the Katima Mulilo Urban constituency, that the ECN is fully prepared to conduct this by-election,” Mujoro concluded.