Balancing Human Security and National Elections

Mumbala Tomas Shandjemwene

AS NAMIBIANS head to the polls this year, it is crucial to understand the link between national elections and human security.

It a is complex and multifaceted relationship and deserves careful examination.

Elections play a crucial role in promoting and safeguarding human security, as they provide people with the opportunity to exercise their political rights and contribute to decision-making processes that directly affect their lives.

Moreover, democratic elections promote transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights, thereby reducing the likelihood of conflict and violence. However, it is important to recognise that elections can also be a source of instability and insecurity, particularly where they are characterised by fraud, violence, or exclusionary practices.

Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that elections are free, fair and inclusive in order to uphold and enhance human security.


During elections, citizens choose their representatives and leaders, enabling them to have a say in determining the policies and actions that affect their lives.

Through voting, individuals express their preferences and values, empowering them to help shape the trajectory of their societies.

This participation fosters a sense of belonging and ownership in the political process.

By having their voices heard in free and fair elections, people are less likely to resort to violence to have their grievances addressed.

Moreover, democratic elections contribute to human security by promoting transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights.

They also provide a platform for candidates to present their policies and ideas to the public, fostering informed decision-making.

Furthermore, the presence of independent election monitoring bodies helps to ensure that the electoral process is conducted fairly and without manipulation.

In this way, elections can enhance trust in political institutions, discourage corruption and create an environment conducive to protecting and promoting human rights.

By aiming to hold leaders accountable through the electoral process, individuals are more likely to feel secure in their rights and freedoms.


However, it is important to acknowledge that elections can also be a source of insecurity, particularly if they are characterised by fraud, violence, or exclusionary practices.

Where elections are manipulated or marred by violence, individuals may lose faith in the political system and resort to more extreme measures to address their grievances.

Exclusionary practices that prevent certain groups from participating can also contribute to social tensions and conflict.

To ensure that elections contribute positively to human security, it is essential to address these challenges and promote inclusive and transparent electoral processes.
In conclusion, the relationship between elections and human security requires careful consideration.

Free and fair elections can have positive effects on human security by empowering individuals to participate in decision-making processes and promoting transparency and accountability.

  • Mumbala Tomas Shandjemwene is a former military police officer. He holds a bachelor of criminal justice in policing from the Namibia University of Science and Technology, and a postgraduate diploma in security and strategic studies from the University of Namibia.

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