WINDHOEK – Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has assured unemployed youth – currently constituting 43 percent of youth in general - that they will be prioritised in the recently advertised vacancies by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN).
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) says it has taken note of concerns by the public that the recruitment of voters’ registration and election officials by the ECN for the upcoming elections will consider public officials while many youths remained unemployed.
Following discussions between the office of the OPM and the ECN on these grievances, the Commission will carry out the appointment process in terms of sections 24 and 65 of the Electoral Act, 2014, according to a statement issued to the media from the office of the Prime Minister.
“The OPM wishes to inform the public that, assurance is provided by the ECN that the recruitment of government officials would be limited to only a few positions, whose nature of work makes it imperative that they are drawn from existing staff with given expertise and experience,” she said.
She further reminded the public that statistics from the previous elections officials were drawn from government staff, and the remaining 96 percent were drawn from unemployed youth.
“The ECN has provided assurance that the same will be maintained during the upcoming registration and election process during 2019,” she said.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila also reminded the public that such recruitment would be applied for and that prospective candidates should meet the requirements for the positions.
“The public is therefore urged to pay attention to the advertisement, and submit their applications as designated by the ECN,” she said, reiterating that all efforts will be made to ensure that priority will continue to be given to unemployed youth in the recruitment of these officials.
The Namibian Defence Force (NDF) became the first government institution to prohibit its workforce from applying for the ECN temporary jobs, saying that such opportunities should be given to unemployed youths.
NDF Chief, Lieutenant-General John Mutwa in an internal memo issued a directive that the force will not permit its employees to take up ECN temporary jobs.
“This communication serves to inform that lately my office has been inundated with queries pertaining to NDF members who wish to apply for the temporary advertised positions at the ECN whereby any government official is eligible for appointment on a seconded basis,” wrote Mutwa.
“As Chief of the Defence Force, I hereby direct that no member of the NDF will be released to be seconded at the ECN – we should rather give this opportunity to the unemployed youth to fill those temporary positions,” he explained.
Mutwa’s decision was welcomed by Executive Director in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp, who hailed the decision as noble.