• July 12th, 2020

Erongo farmers deny access to ECN officials

SWAKOPMUND – Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) officials conducting the recent supplementary
registrations in the Erongo Region were reportedly denied access to some farms to perform their work.
This is despite the farmers being notified in advance by ECN and agreeing that they will avail venues for the registration process.

This was highlighted on Monday by ECN regional coordinator Nghiluilepo Kashidinge during a stakeholders meeting held on Monday in Swakopmund. Kashidinge says this resulted in them
doing the registration process in corridors, especially in Omaruru Constituency. “Some had valid reasons. Others blatantly refused, despite agreeing when notified about the registration process on their farms.
They also did not tender any objection when the venues were published in the various newspapers,” Kashidinge explained.

He added that these venues were also supposed to serve as voting stations but had to be replaced now with other points to avoid further challenges during the Presidential and National Assembly elections slated for November 27. According to Kashidinge, prior arrangements were made by the ECN and owners were allegedly notified beforehand. He says physical visits were also conducted to consult on the process with
farm owners and managers. 

“Despite our efforts, our officials found themselves in front of locked gates. Numerous attempts were also made to contact farm owners as well as managers. Some simply said no while others had
genuine reasons as to why they could not provide us as communicated earlier,” Kashidinge noted.
However, he says some farmers and lodge owners were more than accommodative and went the extra mile by providing accommodation and meals to ECN officials.

According to Kashidinge, the issue was taken up with the top management of ECN that will follow up and further take the necessary steps. Swakopmund municipal councillor Uahimisa Kaapehi raised his concern
over the issue, saying that this was indeed unacceptable that people do not understand the importance of voting and that such behavior of farmers should not be tolerated. “It is time that government really address
this issue as it is every person’s democratic right to vote and they should also grant their employees the opportunity to be registered in order to exercise their democratic right,” he said.

Eveline de Klerk
2019-08-15 07:37:00 | 10 months ago

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