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Delimitation of the Republic, whatÔÇÖs at stake?

Mon, 17 June 2013 01:40
by Lot Ndamanomhata
Columns

Delimitation is defined as the division of a country into constituencies, this division is usually a politically and highly controversial act. In some occasions the opposition and the ruling party cries foul to the drawing of political boundaries.
There are usually several criteria’s used for drawing political boundaries, these mainly include; Democratic considerations: number of voters in the country, region and constituency, physical features: geographic, means of communication, community  or diversity of interest, infrastructure, resources and socio-economic characteristics and circumstance.
On the 18 January 2013, H.E Dr. Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of the Republic unveiled the fourth Delimitation Commission. It is important to note that this commission and like the many commissions before it will get to recommend on the decision to decide on constituency and regional borders before the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) embarks on compiling a new voters register in preparation for the National Assembly and Presidential Elections which take place in November 2014.
It is thus important as highlighted by the president that the commission finishes it work on time before the end of June 2013 for the President to make  a final decision whether that is to implement the recommendation of the commission or to decide otherwise and then to gazette it and allow electoral commission to do its work based on what has been decided.
The delimitation of this has brought issues such this tribe or  ethnicity advocating that and that, but what is so shameful further is that elders elected by the electorates are advocating for division with the ones entangled in this issue of saying what their region or tribe deserve, I thought it supposed to be One Namibia One Nation.  
It is unfortunate that leaders who have taken an oath to defend and protect the constitution of this republic are now doing otherwise.
The colonialist have maybe divided us and caused our families and ties to divide and we now separated by this international demarcation we have to oblige to and amending this territories now might cause chaos, but it seems that if this issue is not handled with care it could lead to turmoil.
I must be very clear that I am a private citizen, and with that I am not expected to tell people what to do, I am expected to play my role as a vigilant, determined, focused and militant youth and have sufficient sense, taste and let it be known that I am not attempting to instruct the President on what to do.
It is thus my hope that the people of this nation will remember in the end that the work of the commission be based on the principle rather than race, colour or ethnic origin of inhabitants of such areas. And also not how a political party will likely fare in the elections and rather to take into consideration new population patterns taking into consideration Namibia’s population has increased as according to the last census carried out.
It should be noted that any attempts made to fix boundaries in a discriminatory manner or give advantage to a particular political party, possible gerrymandering can boil all the way into elections next year.

I must say that with this year’s commission meetings the public have never been more dedicated and so much interest in the demarcation of Namibia then this time around, It is important citizens get involved in this practice, because if citizens don’t express themselves, they will have to live with the boundaries of their regions and constituencies for next ten years which if challenged can create a political and judicial nightmare as there are no mechanism or courts in to specifically deal with the issue of delimitation.  
It is thus also important as much as there is right for citizens to ask questions and deliberate, they must also give the commission the time required to finish their work and not create conclusions of their own and spread rumours around or practice any discriminatory tendencies against another social group. It is also important that any interruption in the commission’s work would affect the voter registration taking place and would mean postponement of such activity which has in place caused chaos, 2002 there was a legal challenge from the Congress of Democrats (COD) that the commission had been illegally instituted or thou the case was dismissed in 2003 it doesn’t make the commission look good.