Voters denied right to register
A number of farm workers have not registered and this has angered politicians.
18 August 2019 | Local News
Kashidinge Nghipuilepo; Regional coordinator of ECN; "We were left to register people in the corridors."
The Electoral Commission of Namibia's (ECN) Erongo regional coordinator, Kashidinge Nghipuilepo, says they were denied access to farms to register workers.
They approached ten farms in order to register their workers for the upcoming national presidential and local authority elections which are scheduled to take place in November.
Nghipuilepo said the owners refused to give them access to their venues on farms which are mostly in the Omaruru constituency.
“We were left to register people in the corridors. The gates were closed and when we phoned them, their phones were not answered,” Nghipuilepo said at a recent stakeholder's meeting.
Uahimisa Kaapehi, the Swakopmund municipal councillor of the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo), condemned the farm owners' behaviour and called on the president to intervene.
“That's the big problem. When we are selling land, we forget that those people are part of this country. Some of those farms belong to foreigners, or they are private companies, so they don't care.
“Those people forgot that although they buy farms which are part of Namibia, there are people that are working there that are Namibians and that have a right to vote.
“The president of this country has to take action and do something with immediate effect. How many members of Namibia are not going to vote because of this unacceptable behaviour? We don't know whether it's just these farms. There might be more farms throughout the country denying people to register to vote,” said Kaapehi.
Nghipuilepo said that any Namibian can report to the police if they have been from deprived from registering and that the ECN head office has the authority to make the final decision.
“If an incident happens where you are denied the right to vote, that individual has the right report the matter to the relevant authorities like the police and the matter will be dealt with.
He further said that “these places were notified prior to registration and the names were also placed in local newspapers to notify that they will be visited for registration”.
In the seven constituencies of the Erongo region, 20 772 voters were registered for the elections.
On 13 November, seagoing personnel in Walvis Bay and Lüderitz as well as foreign missions will vote, while the rest of the citizens will vote on 27 November.