ECN refutes allegations of corruption

Niël Terblanché

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has firmly denied claims circulating on social media regarding alleged corruption in the recruitment process for registration and polling officials for the 2024 General Registration of Voters (GRV) and the upcoming November elections.

Peter Shaama, the ECN’s Chief Electoral and Referenda Officer, in a statement, addressed the allegations

He stressed that the recruitment process adheres strictly to established policies and procedures, in line with the 2024 Electoral Calendar.

“The Commission refutes misleading social media posts by a political activist alleging corruption in the recruitment process of registration and polling officials for the 2024 GRV and November 2024 elections. We would like to inform our stakeholders and the public at large that we followed our policies and procedures in recruiting officials,” Shaama stated.

Shaamamade it clear that the recruitment process was conducted transparently and in compliance with the timelines outlined in the 2024 Electoral Calendar.

From 18 March to 8 April 2024, various positions were advertised, including registration/polling officers, youth ambassadors, IT technicians, logistics officers, and administrative officers.

According to Shaama, these positions required qualified Namibian citizens who are unemployed to submit their applications.

Applicants also had to prove that they were not active members or office bearers of any political party by submitting a police declaration.

Shaama said that failure to comply with these requirements would result in automatic disqualification.

The ECN received an overwhelming response when 82,976 applications for the advertised positions arrived.

He, however, said that only 3,280 officials are required for the GRV process.

According to Shaama, an additional 16,000 polling officials will be recruited for the November elections.

He added that shortlisting for these positions will commence after the GRV process concludes.

According to Shaama, the ECN contacted all shortlisted applicants to confirm their availability for training to ensure the integrity of the recruitment process.

He said that shortlisted candidates are subjected to assessments during training to determine their basic skills and abilities to perform the required electoral duties.

Training commenced on 20 May 2024 in various clusters across the country.

“The ECN operates with the highest level of transparency and integrity, following strict guidelines and procedures as outlined in the ECN Electoral Operations Policy. We take all allegations of corruption seriously and can assure the public that the recruitment process for registration/polling officials was conducted in a transparent and merit-based manner,” Shaama affirmed.

He implored the public to refrain from spreading misinformation and disinformation aimed at casting aspersion on the electoral processes.

“The commission is completely committed to ensuring free and fair elections for all Namibian citizens,” Shaama reiterated.

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