By: Hertha Ekandjo
Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) say there is nothing to prepare for ahead of Friday’s Swakopmund Constituency Councillor by-elections as the Swakopmund residents had already given them the mandate to lead them.
Candidates from seven political parties and one independent candidate are contesting the position of the Swakopmund Constituency Councillor, a position which became vacant after the former Swakopmund Constituency Councillor, Ciske-Smith Howard, was expelled from her party (Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) in May this year.
Independent Patriots for Change spokesperson Immanuel Nashinge said that their party had been ready for the by-election and was looking forward to reaffirming their seat as the leader of the constituency.
“We have been ready since 2 August, and we will remain ready for anything,” he said.
“It is only for us to reaffirm our position on Friday,” he noted.
Nashinge told The Villager that their party never had infight on any push and pull between party members. Thus Swakopmund residents would be in good hands should IPC win the By-elections.
Running the race for Swakopmund Constituency Councillor is Nehemiah Ndara Salomon of SWAPO, Louisa Kativa of IPC, Zerolda Dantu of United Democratic Front (UDF), Rodger Dausab of Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), Tangeni Musheka of Landless People’s Movement (LPM), Lelani Pascheka of Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), Kurzbach Von Seydlitz of UPM and Willibard Narib the Independent Candidate.
NEFF leader, Kalimbo Iipumbu, said they were on the ground, campaigning, ready for the by-election, and looking forward to securing the seat of leadership in the Swakopmund constituency.
“What we are expecting is victory after 12 August. There’s no doubt because we know that the Swakopmund residents have proven to us that they need change and a party that is serious about eradicating poverty in their constituency,” he said.
Iipumbo added that the Swakopmund residents promised to give NEFF the needed power to prove to the government that NEFF was a trustable party ready to fight and eradicate poverty.
LPM’s Acting spokesperson, Eneas Emvula, stated that the preparations for by-elections were going well, adding that they were educating the constituency’s residents on the importance of showing up at the voting pole.
“We will be on the ground doing the work that we need to do, which was what got us elected into these two regions to govern them amid challenges,” he said.
“We will prevail, and we have the full confidence that the people have now realised that sometimes it shouldn’t just be about talking, but action as well,” he explained.
According to Emvula, they have appointed some of their party members to monitor the election process as soon as the polling stations open until the voting process is done.
He stated that they would keep an eye on the ballot paper boxes to ensure no seal was broken.
PDM leader, McHenry Venaani, noted that they were hard at work preparing for the elections.
“We are still on the ground and will be until the last minute because it is never over until it is over,” said Venaani.
Venaani added that they were confident that Swakopmund’s residents needed a leader who would bring forth change to them.
Furthermore, he mentioned that PDM would address the question of electricity and proper housing for the residents.
Their chosen candidate was a fully committed person who knew the constituency’s needs and had direct experience with the residents via a soup kitchen.
He emphasised that his party was a party with order, no infights between members, so it was fit to sit as the chair of leadership in the constituency council.
Moreover, he said that Swapo was not supposed to be taking part in the by-election, stating that.
Swapo party secretary general, Sofia Shaningwa, said that there was nothing to be ready for and that all the parties were looking forward to the day of elections.
Alleged Open Ballot Box
Earlier this week, during an LPM press briefing in Swakopmund, Bernadus Swartbooi alleged that upon arrival of the ballot paper boxes at the Mondesa police station in Swakopmund, he got a tip from a police officer that one of the boxes arrived with a broken seal.
“People are tired of election theft and underhandedness. Why is there no honesty in the elections? When will Africa have honesty in elections,” he questioned.
In response to these allegations, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) said there was no open ballot box, as alleged by Swaartbooi.
“All ECN seals and seals of all political parties affixed to all ballot boxes in Windhoek were still intact at the time of offloading at the Mondesa police station,” said ECN.
According to ECN, this was verified and confirmed by all political party representatives, including the LPM.
Furthermore, ECN stated that they wished to reassure all stakeholders, including the electorate of the Swakopmund constituency, that all processes by the by-elections remained above board, transparent and credible.