Swapo Central Committee meeting held in the capital

WINDHOEK: The Swapo-Party Central Committee is concerned that a large number of eligible voters was not registered for the local authority elections during the last General Registration of Voters due to the absence of proof of residency as required by law.

This was said in a statement read by Swapo-Party Secretary-General Nangolo Mbumba at a media conference on the outcome of the party’s Central Committee meeting held on Friday and Saturday at Parliament Building.

“The Central Committee expressed its satisfaction when it was informed that amendments to the law is at an advanced stage,” said the statement.

The Central Committee urged those responsible for the amendments to expedite the process in order to enable voters to exercise their democratic right to vote.

Eligible voters were required to provide proof of residence to show that they had been a resident in a local authority area for 12 consecutive months to be able to register for the local authority elections.

The statement further noted that the Central Committee has approved the members of the Swapo-Party National Preparatory Committee (NPC) for the 2014 Presidential and National Assembly Elections. The committee was launched by President Hifikepunye Pohamba during the closing session of the meeting.

The Central Committee was informed that there will be by-elections in Ohangwena, Otjinene and Bukalo Constituencies and has urged the leaders assigned to the Regions where the by-elections are taking place to prepare well and mobilize the electorates in those constituencies.

The Ohangwena by-election follows the death of Ohangwena Constituency Councillor Maria Kombwana early in May. The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has set 05 August as the date for the Ohangwena Constituency by-election

The by-elections in the Otjinene Constituency in the Omaheke Region and Bukalo Constituency in the Zambezi Region will be held towards the end of August.

The Otjinene by-election was necessitated by Government’s decision to change the status of Otjinene from that of a settlement to a town.

The elections were initially supposed to take place in 2013, but were postponed when the Swapo-Party and the National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) challenged the registration of over 404 prospective voters prior to the envisaged election last year.

The merit of the challenge was the eligibility of the concerned individuals as voters. The challenge was taken to court, where it was struck off the court roll last year.

By-elections will be held for the first time in the Bukalo Constituency as it is a newly proclaimed local authority.

At the start of the Central Committee meeting, the newly-elected Secretary of the Swapo-Party Elders’ Council, Mukwaita Shanyengana was sworn-in as a new member of the Central Committee.

Pohamba, who is also president of the Swapo-Party, directed that the party’s constitutional provision on gender equality must be implemented fully at all levels of the party. He announced that the party’s electoral college will be soon convened in order to compile the party list for the National Assembly Elections, which must be compiled on a 50/50 gender representation basis.

During the President’s opening address, he also informed the members of the Central Committee about Government’s decision to repatriate the remains of some Swapo-Party leaders who died in exile during the struggle for the liberation of Namibia.