Nandi-Ndaitwah allays fears of election sabotage

Martin Endjala

Deputy Prime Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, has assured Namibians that the upcoming Presidential and National Assembly elections next year will be conducted with the highest standards.

She stated that neither Namibians nor opposition parties should be concerned about any sabotage.

“I would like to allay any concerns or fears that the Hon. Member might have regarding the upcoming 2024 Presidential and National Assembly Elections. The Government remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding transparency, accountability, and good governance,” she said.

This includes working in the context of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence, and Security Cooperation, of which Namibia is currently a member of the Troika.

This statement comes after opposition Parliament members, namely the Popular Democratic Movement’s Maximillian Katjimune, McHenry Venaani, and National Unity Democratic Organisation’s Joseph Kauandenge, voiced concerns ahead of the highly anticipated 2024 elections.

Their worries stemmed from the Namibian government’s perceived support for what they described as rigged elections in countries like Zimbabwe.

The opposition parliamentarians further questioned why the Namibian government continues to support autocratic regimes, such as Zimbabwe’s, which they feel do not align with Namibia’s democratic values.

Their concerns intensified after President Hage Geingob congratulated his Zimbabwean counterpart, Emmerson Mnangagwa, despite reports suggesting that the elections might have been inconsistent with Zimbabwe’s constitution and the SADC Principles and Guidance Governing Democratic Elections.

However, Nandi-Ndeitwah emphasized that Namibia’s institutions protect individual rights, including voting rights, and these standards will always be upheld.

“Namibia and Zimbabwe have maintained a cordial bilateral relationship over the years, rooted in shared values of regional peace, stability, and socio-economic development,” she added.

The Deputy Prime Minister also commended Zimbabwe’s Harmonised elections as a significant step in the nation’s democratic journey.

“Just as observed by the AU, COMESA, Commonwealth, and the EU, the SADC Election Observation Mission (SEOM) noted that the people of Zimbabwe conducted the elections in a peaceful and exemplary manner. It’s up to the people of Zimbabwe, as it is here in Namibia, to address and improve any areas that may require enhancement,” she said.

Nandi-Ndaitwah clarified that President Geingob’s congratulatory message followed the official declaration of the election results by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The commission named Mnangagwa the winner with 52.6% of the vote, a standard diplomatic practice.

In a related development, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) Chief Electoral and Referenda Officer, Peter Shaama, spoke to the Windhoek Observer about the commission’s independence.

He highlighted Article 94 of the Namibian Constitution, which asserts the ECN’s role as an “independent, transparent, and impartial body.”

“The Commission’s independence is not just a principle; it’s a constitutional obligation, enabling us to execute our mandate effectively within the bounds of our guiding legal framework,” Shaama concluded.

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