Residents discouraged to vote at hospitals

All systems go for Walvis Bay Urban by-elections

14 January 2020 | Local News

Jeff Manale;Returning officer; “There are many venues where you can vote, so why go to hospitals or old age homes?”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

Returning officer Jeff Manale told members of the public not to leave larger areas like Kuisebmond or Narraville to vote at hospitals, old age homes or prisons for the Walvis Bay by-elections slated for 15 January.

He made these remarks during the Electoral Commission of Namibia’s (ECN) stakeholder briefing that took place at Kuisebmond municipal chambers.

“These places are reserved for the people that are there. They will enjoy priority. If they are done, then other people are welcome to come and vote at such venues,” Manale said.

According to him, Huis Palms Old Age Home requested and indicated that they only want to help residents of the home to cast their votes.

“There are many venues where you can vote, so why go to hospitals or old age homes to vote? The owners of these establishments could even opt to not allow us to use it as polling stations in the next elections if this trend continues,” he said.

Speaking at the occasion, Welwitschia Hospital representative Gareth Smith said that only patients and staff will be allowed to vote at the hospital.

“The general public will not be allowed to cast votes at the hospital. If we allow this, the hospital will be very full on 15 January. We will not know who is a patient, a visitor or a resident that came to vote. There are also personal belongings of the patients in the rooms and it will become a headache for the police. People can just walk down the corridor, into a patient’s room and take something.”

Welwitschia Hospital will operate a polling station for patients and staff from 12:00 to 15:00 and close thereafter, as visiting hours are from 15:00 to 16:00.

According to the ECN, 23 169 people have registered for the by-election.

The fixed polling stations (which will open from 07:00 to 21:00) for the by-election will be at Immanuel Ruiters Primary School, Kuisebmond Community Hall, Hosiana Church, De Duine Secondary School, the Municipal Town Library Hall, Nakambale Church Hall, the Anglican Church Hall, St. Peters Roman Catholic Church and Duinesig Combined School.

There will also be mobile teams stationed at Narraville Police Cells (12:00 -16:00), Police Cells in town (17:00 – 21:00), Prisons (07:00 - 11:00), State Hospital (07:00 – 11:00), Huis Palms (12:00 – 16:00), Naval Base (17:00 – 21:00), Kuisebmond Old Age Home (07:00 – 11:00), Welwitschia Hospital (12:00 – 15:00) and the Marine Base (17:00 – 21:00).

The collating centre for the by-elections will be the Kuisebmond Community Hall.

SWAPO’s Sirie Topulathana, PDM’s Richard Hoaeb and two independent candidates, namely Knowledge Ipinge and Keneth Iilonga, will contest to become the next councillor of this constituency.

The position of Walvis Bay urban councillor became vacant when Hafeni Ndemula resigned to fulfil his duties becoming a member of parliament as he was placed number 35 on the SWAPO national assembly candidate list.

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