Votes Have No Status: Register and Vote

Modestus Kasoma Kupembona

MORE THAN 15 African countries go to the polls in 2024, including Namibia.

Our Presidential and National Assembly elections are set to be held in November.

However, 34 years since independence, the campaign strategies and tactics used for three decades have not changed.

The Namibian electorate does not need political rallies to be told about their realities as if they are foreigners.

We were born and bred in this country and are well aware of our various realities.

Namibians have largely experienced the politics of power rather than politics that uplifts people.

Elections entail competition and choices about our collective and individual aspirations as a nation, about uplifting our people
History will judge us harshly if we allow democracy to fail in our time. It is the responsibility of every eligible voter to register and vote.


It is important to remember that a vote has no political, economic or social status. Everyone’s vote counts. A president’s vote and a citizen’s vote are equal.

This calls for Namibians to make conscious decisions on why they vote. No government can claim authority unless it has the people’s vote.

Many strategies are being used to win the hearts and minds of the masses.

Political elites are out and about on the ground because they know it is the electorate who holds the power.

Elections should not only demonstrate our commitment to our democratic ideals but the willingness of citizens to sacrifice their time and energy to not only register as voters but turn up at polling stations to cast their vote.

Statistics from the Electoral Commission of Namibia indicate there was only a 60% turnout in the 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Voting should be seen as one of the highest forms of protest. It is about being proactive about what we want.

It is not wise but akin to ignorance to boycott voting. It can be seen as opting for the very conditions that cause frustrations.


In the words of influential German playwright, Bertolt Brecht: “The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events.

“He does not know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. “The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics.

“The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”

When we leave the ballot booth in November, it should be with a sense of validation, of dignity and of being part of shaping the future.

Democracy is about citizens getting to choose their government.

Let our actions toward our democracy be worthy and deserving of the sacrifice that brought it into existence.

  • *Modestus Kasoma Kupembona is a youth activist in the Kavango West region.

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