Windhoek — Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila who was one of the first political office bearers to vote in the Windhoek East constituency for the presidential and legislative elections described the process as generally smooth.
Namibians voted in the Presidential and National Assembly elections yesterday.
New Era visited various polling stations in Windhoek East and West constituencies to observe and report on the election process.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who was accompanied by her husband, Tona Amadhila, cast their votes at MTC head office in Olympia in Windhoek East constituency.
"I believe if we can pull together as Namibians, across our political and cultural differences, I think Namibia has great potential," she noted.
She expressed her gratitude that she expressed her views, exercised her right and she has been heard. Equally, she described the voting process in Windhoek as "smooth", saying the polls are peaceful and the polling officials are handling the process differently as they allow the senior citizens, the pregnant women, and the disabled persons to first cast their votes. Many voters New Era spoke to said they woke up as early as 04h00 to be first in the queue and vote in the eagerly anticipated national elections.
Walter Carsten, who voted at Delta Secondary School, said there is a need to double the election facilities, as the queues are too long. "If it rains, it could be disastrous. In general, I am happy we managed to vote. In a lot of countries, you do not have that choice. We are grateful we were able to vote. If a house is made out of small bricks, if it breaks in the corner and I do not do anything, then the house will collapse. So, it's a duty of every citizen to vote," he said.
Despite, the long queues and the scorching sun, the voters said they were determined to wait and vote for their preferred candidates and political parties.
There were several voters who were turned away as they possess the old and invalid voter cards, which were last issued in 2009.
All People's Party (APP) president Ignatius Shixwameni who also cast his vote at Delta in the Windhoek East constituency said he is happy he exercised his democratic right.
"I am feeling happy that I voted today, the 27 November. We need to exercise our rights to a free nation and consolidate our democracy. Your vote is your voice and it's your secret," he vowed.
He said he was generally happy with the voter turn out in Windhoek, and is hopeful the same pattern applied elsewhere in Namibia.
Meanwhile, the Windhoek Central Hospital which is also one of the polling stations in Windhoek West constituency was packed.
However, many voters there felt the voting process was generally slow.
Regardless, they vowed to stay put until they cast their votes for their preferred presidential candidates and political parties.
While at the hospital, some patients who are bed-ridden also managed to reach the polling station with the assistance of their families with the determination to cast their votes. New Era also spoke to student nurses at the hospital who said they are not first-time voters but are glad they managed to go out and vote. However, they said even if they worked night shifts, they were determined to overcome long queues and vote for "change".
The reporter also visited other polling stations such as Unam, IUM, Paulinium Pastoral College, Baines shopping centre, which all showed a sizable number of voters.
At the time of going to press, presiding officers did not report any malfunction of the electronic voting machines at these polling stations.