Katima rural voters boycott election

KATIMA MULILO; Some 100 community members of the Mahundu village in the Katima Mulilo Rural Constituency boycotted the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Friday.

The community members protested the polls due to their frustration of the mobile election team arriving in their area 30 minutes before the closing of the voting process.

Swapo-Party Youth League (SPYL) central committee member, John Ntemwa who hails from the same village, told Nampa on Saturday that the community members were disappointed that the mobile team did not stick to the announced time for polling.

Some residents travelled about 7 kilometres to get to the identified point before the polling officials, just to later learn that they would not be assisted as the electronic voting machines (EVMs) had experienced a technical problem.

“They walked a long distance and queued up for hours at the point, but the mobile team was not in sight. The boycott of the elections is unnecessary but blame should be put on the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) as they should have placed a fixed station at the area and not just rely on a mobile team,” Ntemwa said.

The boycott was confirmed by Election Coordinator for the Zambezi Region, Alfred Mbukusa who said the delay of the mobile team was beyond their control, as the EVMs technical problem was experienced while they were at the Mutikitila village.

The EVMs were only fixed after one hour, delaying the election process.

“The situation of the Mahundu village community complaining about the delay of the mobile team reaching their area is not just unique to them, as other parts of the regions experienced the same misfortune but the people voted there.

That community decided not to vote even after the mobile teams informed them that they would be assisted after the official closing time of the polls had lapsed,” he said.

Mbukusa added that similar problems were encountered at the Libula village, where some voters boycotted to vote with mobile teams.

“The issue at Libula was, however, handled well as about 300 votes were recorded from the area,” he said.

Katima Mulilo Rural Constituency has about 5979 eligible voters registered with ECN.