DTA Wants Screening for All Politicians

The DTA of Namibia wants all political party candidates vying for public office, whether local, regional or national to undergo intense criminal background screening.

The DTA says this is “to ensure that mafias are not elected into public office.” The party also called on legislators to draft laws banning those declared bankrupt to run for public office. DTA Secretary General Vincent Kanyetu told New Era yesterday that plans by the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to only screen parliamentary candidates submitted on party lists will not serve any purpose, since the race for seats in parliament start from local authority and regional council levels. “Leaders are not only MP’s, but all those running for a public office. Everyone should be screened to make sure that those elected are not criminals or bankrupt officials. We need to consider that these are people who will handle national affairs and the lives of Namibians. We need proper systems to screen those vying for public office,” said Kanyetu. “If we have criminals and bankrupt people, they can easily sell the resources of the country, while the locals are left starving.

In the long run it may lead to extreme poverty and unemployment,” he said. Kanyetu called on all political parties to carry out thorough criminal and bankruptcy background checks on any person who wishes to represent a party at any level of government. ECN Director for Elections, Professor Paul Isaak, was quoted in a local daily last month expressing himself on the same issue, except that he said screening would be carried out for leaders at national level only.

“This year the electoral body will conduct screening and background checks on all National Assembly candidates,” he was quoted saying. Article 47 of the constitution disqualifies politicians who have been convicted of criminal misconduct and sentenced to more than 12 months imprisonment. It also says a convicted individual should wait at least 10 years after serving the entire sentence, before being eligible to be admitted to the National Assembly.

Source : New Era