SWAKOPMUND - Popular Democratic Movement president McHenry Venaani says the missing electronic voting machines that were loaned to Swapo cast serious doubts on the integrity of the Electoral Commission of Namibia and compromises the upcoming general elections.
The missing EVMs, of which one was recovered and currently in police custody, were loaned to the Swapo Party Elders Council congress held in Outapi of Omusati region in 2017 by the ECN.
Both the Swapo and the ECN have been strongly criticised by members of the public and opposition parties after justice minister Sacky Shanghala last week claimed that the EVMs fell off the trailer in which they were being transported and remain unrecovered.
Venaani, however, questioned the whole EVM saga during a PDM rally held on Saturday in Swakopmund.
“Who puts an EVM machine on a trailer? How do you put such a sensitive machine on a trailer? It is not even a goat. The ruling party has failed this country to a point that they are compromising the integrity of the elections,” Venaani said.
According to Venaani, it is impossible to trust EVMs while there are already allegations of them being hacked and manipulated in India where they are manufactured.
“In Namibia, the ruling party put them on a trailer and they went missing. What kind of a thief has an interest in an EVM machine if it is not the corrupt party itself,” Venaani said.
However, Shanghala last week said there was no conspiracy to rig any elections amid reports of the missing machines.
“I take full responsibility for the loss of the EVMs and regret that we ever took custody of them, instead of having insisted that the ECN transport them, given that it was the ECN that oversaw their set-up, operation and packaging for their return,” Shanghala said.