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The IPC leader Dr Panduleni Itula said the electoral commission should, in terms of regulations published in the Government Gazette number 7053 dated 18 November 2019, release financial reports of the Swapo Party for 2017, 2018/19 and 2020/21 for perusal.

Itula wrote to the electoral commission on 12 November 2021 requesting disclosure of the audited financial reports.

He said he was writing as the then independent presidential candidate in the 2019 Presidential elections and currently as the head of a political party that participated in the 2020 local authority and regional council elections.

“There is no doubt that this request serves an important public interest in the promotion, maintenance of our constitutional democracy and in particular the protection of fundamental rights, including a right to be governed by a legitimate executive and legislature,” he said.

Itula said the recent developments in the High Court in the matter of The State//Mike Nghipunya and others; it has become apparent that statements proffered under oath by the accused are unambiguously objective suggestive that donations of funds for political purposes.

Itula also said it was clear that the funding was done during and or around 2014-2020.

He further said the funds were received by and for purposes of political campaigns intended to influence the process of democratic election by members of and the Swapo Party, directly and indirectly.

“The conduct and outcome of the Swapo Party November 2017 elective congress fed its results directly into the national electoral process and its outcome of November 2019,” Itula wrote.

Itula added that this was done through Swapo’s clause 53, which makes it automatic for an elected party leader to become the presidential candidate.

“It appears that the evidence proffered under oath suggests contravention by the Swapo Party of clauses of sections 140 and 141 of the Electoral Act, Act 5 of 2014,” he said.

Section 141 states that a registered political party… member or other persons referred to in section (1)(a),(b) and (c) who would have received more than a prescribed amount in a financial year from Namibian persons or institutions must disclose the donation.

According to Itula, the electoral commission as an administrative body ought to have initiated a transparent evaluation of the conduct of the Swapo Party as a registered political party, its members, its donors and any other entity alleged to have so contravened the provisions of the law under its administration.

This, Itula said, in particular given the enormous public anger and anxiety subsequent to the revelations of acquisition of such alleged funding in breach of numerous other Namibian laws such as the Prevention of Organised Crimes Act, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Electoral Commission of Namibia Acts.

“The ECN has a duty to the Namibian people to implement the provisions of section 152(d) of the Electoral Act if the outcome of the elections since 2019 are as is suggested in the ongoing case tainted,” he wrote.

The Electoral Commission of Namibia says it will decide whether access to political parties’ audited financial statements would be given to those who want to peruse them.

Theo Mujoro, the electoral commission chief electoral and referenda officer, said this in a letter addressed to IPC chief patriot Dr Panduleni Itula.

Mujoro said the electoral commission had made an undertaking during the political liaison committee meeting held on 9 November 2021 to engage all registered political parties and organisations on the issue of compliance with sections 139, 140, 141 and 158 of the Electoral Act 5 of 2014.

“This is a very important undertaking to ensure that every registered political party and organisation is fully aware of the legal obligations and what is expected of them.

“We also undertook to provide everybody with a deadline, which will be done during the proposed engagements,” Mujoro said.

Julia Heita

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