Electoral commission accused of incompetence

Independent presidential candidates have accused the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) of being incompetent due to the slow process of registration and insufficient public information.

Independent presidential candidate Rosa Namises says after four days of attempting to be registered as a voter in the upcoming presidential and National Assembly elections, she has not succeeded.

She says she has tried to register at the Katutura community hall, Bethel church and a registration point at Dolam in Windhoek.

Rosa Namises

Namises adds that she was told her fingers were too cold for the machines to capture her prints.

ECN spokesperson Mulauli Siluka has refuted the allegations of incompetence, but could not confirm whether Namises has been registered.

“We dismiss these claims. Our system takes a minimum of three minutes to complete the registration process,” he says.

Siluka says the registration points mentioned have not reported any challenges.

Political scientist and corruption researcher at the Namibia University of Science and Technology Johan Coetzee on Monday said the pace of registration will cause negative perceptions.

He said the ECN should acknowledge these challenges.


Namises says registration takes 30 to 45 minutes.

Additionally, many people do not know they have to register now for the regional and local authority elections as well, she says.

Meanwhile, Coetzee says: “If it takes some voters 30 minutes to register, a valid question is how much longer will it take for a voter on average to register in a remote area, where internet access is limited.”

Siluka says eligible voters have been told to register in their constituencies when registration kicked off.

ECN chief electoral officer for the Oshikoto region Ester Hipangelwa says network challenges are experienced in the Eengodi, Okankolo and Eenhana constituencies, because many of these areas do not have electricity.

Hipangelwa says the public turnout is impressive, even though many people prefer to register when the centres are about to close.

“The roads are also a challenge, especially now that we have trucks in the villages offloading drought-relief food … The weather also plays a role,” she says.

Venita Hailaula, an Oshakati resident, has expressed her disappointment with the ECN registration machines, saying the process is too slow.

“The machines are always faulty and going on and off,” she says.

The ECN chief electoral officer for the Oshana region, Amon Haimbangu, says his office has not received any complaints.

Haimbangu says so far over 12 000 people have registered to vote in the Oshana region.

Omaheke regional electoral officer Josef Amwaandi says the registration process has been hampered by technical challenges, mostly in remote areas, but that the IT department is addressing them.

Berseba registration point team leader Gilbert Frederick says 100 eligible voters have registered.

“There were a few technical glitches due to poor network reception, but they did not affect the smooth voter registration process,” Frederick says.

Ally Angula


Angula says the language used to communicate is English, which she says is a barrier.

“You can go to Outapi and see a poster that is intended to educate people about the registration, but it’s in English,” she says.

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