Namibia: ECN Denies Turning Away Voters

29 November 2019

Ongwediva — Electoral Commission of Namibia officials in Ohangwena and Omusati have denied allegations that voters were denied their right to vote for the leader of their choice after officials failed to set up mobile stations at the expected times.

Disgruntled voters at Sakaria Nghikembua at Etakaya village in Oshikunde constituency said some voters returned home without voting as the mobile team was not at the centre at the expected time.

Returning officer for Shimanda Nghidimbwandjovo admitted that there was a two-hour delay as there were a lot of people at the previous centre where they were.

He however said he travelled to Sakaria Nghikembua polling station at 16:00 to sort out the delay and also advised voters who could not keep waiting to turn to the nearest centre at Oshikunde.

"I was there again at 18:00 when the officials started. Voters were informed of the situation at hand, hence we did not turn them away," said Nghidimbwandjovo.

Meanwhile similar reports came in from Ondjabalala in Endola constituency, Ohangwena Region and Onaholongo in Ogongo constituency in Omusati Region.

The returning officer for Ondjabalala in Endola constituency Nestor Naimbangu said they also had a high turnout at their second last mobile station at Oshali shaKanelelo before they could get to Ondjabalala.

He said by closing time there were still about 200 people in the queue.

Naimbangu said he visited Ondjabalala at the starting time; however, there were less than 10 people at the centre.

"We could not leave the people in the queue, we had to attend to them and we had arranged to leave to Ondjabalala before the closing time, however, the generator ran out of fuel," said Naimbangu.

At Onaholongo, the returning officer Fillemon Iilende refused to speak about the matter.

"All the people voted, in fact we closed very late. I am busy receiving the materials from the colleagues. No thank you," he said before hanging up.

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