Bukalo Prepares for Historic Election

Political parties contesting for seats in the newly-proclaimed Bukalo Village Council have wrapped up their political campaigns with voting expected to take place this coming Friday.

Campaigns have been described as peaceful with no major incidents of violence or intimidation reported.

Political parties contesting the five vacant seats at the new village council are Swapo, CoD, DTA and the obscure NDP of Martin Lukato.

According to the Returning Officer for the Bukalo election, Alfred Mbukusa, the provisional voters roll has about 346 people registered as potential voters.

“According to the provisional voters roll, we have 346 people registered as voters. However, we will have the final voters’ roll by tomorrow and we cannot tell whether that number will increase or decrease,” stated Mbukusa.

Bukalo has an estimated population of just over 500 people.

The elections at Bukalo will be using the electronic voting machines (EVM) and this will put the Zambezi region as the second region to use EVMs after the machines made their debut at the recently held by-elections in Ohangwena.

The EVMs were described as effective and allowed for the announcement of results within record time.

Mbukusa noted an electronic voting simulation exercise was conducted early this month to acquaint voters with the necessary knowledge.

“There was enough time for training which was done by our voters’ education unit. They did a mock voting exercise on the 8th and 9th of August. We are also doing practicals with our trainees,” stressed Mbukusa.

Political parties participating the election have also been invited to witness as polling officials prepare ballot and control units at the constituency office.

It is not clear whether the National Democratic Party (NDP) will take part in the election following the withdrawal of its candidates who claim their nomination was done deceitfully without their consent by the leader of the party and that they never belonged to the party in the first place.

They have since written letters of withdrawal to the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) demanding their withdrawal.

However, Mbukusa explained until such a time when the ECN has received withdrawal letters accompanied by police declarations NDP was still regarded a valid contender in the election.

“Those candidates were already gazetted and therefore we still regard NDP as a contender. ECN will only take a decision after receiving all documentations requested from the complainants. At the moment we take this whole issue as hearsay,” stated Mbukusa.

DTA National Secretary for Information and Publicity, Lascan Sikosi said his party’s campaigns focused on attracting investment and creating employment for jobless youth. “We want to bring investment to Bukalo so that we create jobs for the youth. We don’t want the town to become a China town,” stated Sikosi.

At a campaign rally held last weekend, chairperson of party leaders assigned to the Zambezi region, John Mutorwa appealed to all eligible voters to vote for Swapo to speed up development at the settlement.

Candidates filed by the DTA are Kalokela Michael, Sikokwani Monde, Kakulubelwa Chestro, Masialeti David and Kalokela Verronicah.

NDP filed the names of Milinga Patricia, Matakala Muyambango, Ikangwa Simasiku, Kazwele Rosemary and Simasiku Wambo as candidates.

Swapo has Louis Matomola, Annoscar Mutumuswana, Charles Siyauya, Ntombi Mwilima and Candy Namatama contesting as councillors while COD candidates include Lawrence Mukena, Josephine Simasiku, Simataa Purity, Mundia Modress and Sinyinda Saberia.

Source : New Era