Namibia: 'I've Never Missed a Chance to Vote'

An Independent Patriots for Change meeting.
26 November 2020

SALINDE Naweses' vote at Swakopmund was not for nothing, she believes.

Naweses (76) cast her two ballots at the Platz am Mer Mall at Swakopmund.

The queues were long and voters were queueing in groups, with no sign of social distancing.

Juuso Kambueshe, chairman of the Erongo Regional Council, yesterday said this was a big problem, calling on the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to organise themselves better.

"This is a mess. Nothing is organised here," he said.

Naweses said it took her about two hours to vote.

"I've voted every time since independence. Not once was everything perfect, but I got to cast my vote, like everyone here will. One by one we will make a difference. With this paper I can help rule our country the right way," she said.

She believes ballot papers are more reliable than electronic voting machines (EVMs).

The mood at Swakopmund was relaxed, with voters even receiving coffee for free at the Dutch Reformed Church, while a musician played his guitar to everyone's entertainment.

Most of the polling stations opened on time, except for the one at Atlantic Primary School, where two batches of regional council ballots, instead of one for the regional council and one for local authorities, were assigned, causing a delay.

ECN control officer Hendrik Pieters could not explain why this happened, but resolved the issue when he brought a batch of local authority ballots to the polling station.

"The government has been telling us to be ready for all these months, and now that we are ready to vote, they mess up and keep us waiting. What does this mean for our future?" a voter protested.

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