Venaani calls on ECN leaders to apologise and resign

Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani has branded those at the helm of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) lairs and for their immediate resignation as they can no longer be entrusted with overseeing a credible election.

Venaani made his demand at a press conference in the capital on Thursday.

The gathering was convened to place on record PDM's dissatisfaction around inconsistent facts surfacing around Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which were under the care of the ruling Swapo Party were reported missing.

It follows revelations by ECN that the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) was busy investigating the missing EVMs.

However, it turned that indeed, no criminal case had been opened to that effect as was further confirmed by NamPol boss, Inspector General Sebastian Ndeitunga in an interview with Nampa on Thursday.

My officials are telling me that nobody opened a case with the police. If there is anyone who has opened a case with the police for investigation, please I want the CR number so that I can follow up on the progress of the investigation? Ndeitunga said.

Chief Electoral and Referenda Officer Theo Mujoro issued a statement in which he claimed that: One of the control units reported to have been missing was found and is in possession of the Namibian Police at Otjiwarongo as part of the investigation process. The ECN could not publicly divulge information to the Namibian public due to concerns around compromising the investigation process.

It does not stop to rain at the ECN, but it pours, Venaani said at the onset, suggesting the commission was now entangled by a myriad of controversies.

He said: The ECN cannot be trusted with the elections and especially those who are leading it at this point in time.

Venaani went: They are very mendacious with facts. They are lying under oath and are taking this country, the electorates [and] taking political stakeholders of this country for a ride [by] telling us lies of things that do not exist.

The politician went further to suggest that if those at the top echelons of ECN can lie about opening a case, then they will surely three times more about election results.

They are not to be trusted. We believe that it is time for the ECN officials to resign, he said.

Venaani also demanded a public apology from the ECN for misleading the nation by presenting alternative facts.

On his part, Mujoro said he was not going to succumb to Venaani's calls to resign.

I am not going anywhere. I've got a job to do, he said.

On the purported lies that the commission is accused of peddling, Mujoro said they have nothing to hide.

He indicated that it was unfortunate that the contact between his predecessor, Professor Paul Isaak, and NamPol around the missing EVMs was misconstrued as an investigation was ongoing.

It has now apparent that no criminal case was actually opened [with Namibian Police Force]. So, he [Isaak] made the police aware of the incident and you know that a member of the public picked up an EVM unit not too far from Otjiwarongo and handed it at the police station in Otjiwarongo. Statements were also made by the Swapo Party Elders Council officials about this incident under oath at that police station. So, our impression was that there was an investigation going on because the police were made aware of this incident, Mujoro said.

He added: That is the reality. There is nothing to hide here.

Source: Namibia Press Agency