WINDHOEK – Nampol Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga has clarified that there was no criminal case opened at any station regarding the missing electronic voting machines (EVMs), which at the time were loaned to the Swapo Party Elders Council in 2017.
The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) in a media statement initially claimed that the issue of missing EVMs was now in the hands of the police. However, Ndeitunga said yesterday no single case was ever opened with them regarding the missing units.
“My officials informed me that they checked at the police stations if there is a registered case. I am told there is no registered case there. Nobody went there to open a case. We happen to know this case because a member of the public brought one of the EVM at the police station. On our own, we got involved to check how it happened. That is how we got into the play,” he stated.
According to him, no complainant approached the police to register a case of missing EVMs. Ndeitunga, however, said there were people who went to the police station to certify statements regarding the lost EVMs but clarified that the police were never asked to investigate how the devices ended up missing.
The ECN had loaned out the devices to the Swapo Party for its elders council elective congress held in Outapi in July 2017. Justice minister Sacky Shanghala was the returning officer to the congress and had requested the voting machines from the ECN. The ECN this week confirmed that the requested consignment included 156 ballot units, 53 control units, four tabulators, and two printers.
Shanghala last week said the four EVMs that went missing while in the custody of Swapo, fell from the trailer in which they were being transported. Attempts to reach ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro proved futile yesterday. However, the ECN in a statement this week said it was working with the police in trying to find a solution to the missing EVMs. “Finally, the ECN would like to assure the electorate and the Namibian public at large of our unwavering commitment to the delivery of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in the forthcoming 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections,” the ECN said.