Eleven people dismissed from being polling officials

RUNDU: Eleven people who were appointed to work as polling officials for tomorrow’s Presidential and National Assembly election have been dismissed from work.

The eleven officials were dismissed after they allegedly instigated a group of over 800 polling officials for the Kavango East region to boycott training over remuneration disputes.

They receive N.dollars 100 daily for attending training and they want the ECN to increase the amounts being paid to them.

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Kavango East Regional Coordinator Michael Kabwata confirmed to this agency on Thursday afternoon that the officials were indeed dismissed for apparently influencing other polling officials to boycott the election training on Tuesday this week.

Kabwata stated that he personally served the letters to the implicated officials on Thursday afternoon.

Polling officials for both the Kavango East and West regions underwent over one-week training from since last week Tuesday to Wednesday this week.

In a letter signed by ECN Director of Election Professor Paul Isaak on Thursday, categorically informed the implicated polling officials that the ‘ECN revoked the appointment letters as polling officers’.

The ECN boss said in that letter the ECN is mandated by an Act of Parliament to direct, supervise, and control all electoral activities while maintaining integrity of the highest order at all times.

“This decision is taken by ECN in order to protect this noble principle,” said ECN Director in the letter.

This reporter understand that the dismissed officials who formed up a committee of disgruntled polling officials were drawn from the Kavango East region’s six Constituencies.

Although this reporter was unable to establish the names of the dismissed official, one of them includes Ben Wakudumo who was removed because he is on All peoples party (APP) National Assembly list.

Wakudumo an active member of the All People’s Party (APP) is number 20th on the APP’s list for possible National Assembly positions.

He was destined to work as a polling official in the Mashare Constituency in the Kavango East Region, and received training for that position earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the ECN’s Kavango East regional coordinator, Michael Kabwata told this agency on Thursday that they roped in the services of private vehicles to assist with the election process.

The region’s 852 polling officials are expected to be dispatched to 142 polling venues this afternoon to serve 72 264 registered voters.

The region has six constituencies – Mukwe, Ndiyona, Ndonga Linena, Mashare, Rundu Rural East and Rundu Urban.