WINDHOEK - Leader of the Landless People’s Movement (LPM) Bernadus Swartbooi has vowed to take on Public
Enterprises Deputy Minister Veikko Nekundi who poked holes in the new party’s list of supposed members, in an
objection submitted to the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) on Friday.
Nekundi, who submitted the objection in his private capacity, was accompanied by two other members of the
public who also submitted their objections to the LPM list. Nekundi submitted the objection a day before the due
date and said he took it upon himself to scrutinise the application and the ECN Act.
New political parties seeking registration with the ECN are required by law to submit a defined number of party
members supporting the application for registration. Nekundi said it came to his attention that one of the
people indicated to support the application died on August 12, 2008.
Secondly, Nekundi said over 400 people are recorded under different names and surnames but under one
voters’ number. The Act requires 3500 to support the application across seven regions, he said. “When you divide seven by 3500 and you are dealing with duplicates (of name and surnames). Omaheke and Otjozondupa, Kunene, Erongo and Ohangwena (regions) fall short of 500 people and the party doesn’t comply to the law,” reads his submission.
“Therefore, as a responsible citizen who believe in the rule of law and that everyone must comply to the
legislation, I came to submit my objection which I believe ECN will take in accordance to the law.”
Nekundi stated that some people’s names were not obtained for the purpose of (party) registration but for
employment and housing. Similarly, member of the public Meriam Nghidipo submitted objections on behalf of seven people from // Kharas Region who belong to other political parties and argue they did not give (LPM) consent to be signed up. Nghidipo said the people were told they will be signed up for housing and services and not as members of LPM.
Fazilla Bock-Kakombo, who called herself a concerned citizen, submitted an application on behalf of one person
from Khomas Region who was allegedly misled by LPM after being promised to get land, employment and a
Bock-Kakombo said the person does not belong to LPM and did not want to be part of the party. In response, Swartbooi, a former comrade of Nekundi during the pair’s days in the Swapo Party Youth League, told New Era that they will look carefully how these objections were generated.
“We are in the field in Khorixas and know the stories they have been telling people in all the regions,” he said.
“We will not only respond to the objections but will respond to the manner in which the objections themselves
were obtained. We want to see how the objections were generated and we will object those very objections.”
He added that he was aware of the promises made to the people in order to apparently change their minds.
In addition, Swartbooi said it was interesting that Nekundi decide to lodge the objection during office hours.
“I wonder if he was given leave by his boss to do extra curricula political work instead of the work that the taxpayers are paying him to do,” he said. Nekundi could use half the energy he used to try to create these objections towards his work, argued Swartbooi, to become a noteworthy parliamentarian and deputy minister.
Swartbooi, himself a former deputy minister until he was removed in 2017, said he is excited that Nekundi
objected – saying he was happy to take him on. ECN acting CEO Aunie Gideon said within 14 days, the commission will sit and go through the objections and then decide to approve or disapprove the objections. Gideon said LPM will be given 30 days to correct or give more information. She said if parties reject the outcome of this process, they may approach the electoral court.