Some Police Officers Denied the Right to Vote

Some 20 uniformed City Police officers were denied the right to vote during the Presidential and National Assembly elections at the Moses van der Byl Primary School polling station in the Katutura Central Constituency on Friday.

The officers who went to the polling station around 18h30 to cast their votes were allegedly turned away by the senior polling official at that polling station.

According to one of the officers, a polling official who refused to disclose her name or speak to Nampa, told them to join the back of the long queue outside the polling station because they had come late in the afternoon and should be joining the line like everyone else.

Nampa visited the polling station at 21h00, and found the officers were still standing in the queue outside the polling station, waiting to be given a chance to vote before they return to work.

When the Electoral Commission of Namibia’s (ECN) Public Relations Officer Vikitoria Hango was alerted about the incident, she said police officers were not supposed to stand in the queues because special provision had been made for them to vote quickly so that they can return to their law enforcement duties.

Hango made an effort to assist the officers but she was informed by the presiding officer for the Katutura Central Constituency that the officers were not to be given any special treatment and had to join the queues like all the other voters.

The officers eventually gave up and left that polling venue to go and try their luck at other polling stations, saying they have “never experienced this kind of treatment in past elections.

By 22h00, long queues were observed at several polling stations in Katutura and other surroundings, meaning that the voting process was to at least till the early hours of Saturday morning.

Source : The Namibian