Undocumented persons struggle to register for voter cards

Martin Endjala

Although voter card registration in the Ndiyona Constituency in the Kavango East region is progressing well, undocumented people find it hard to register.

On Thursday, Ndiyona constituency councillor, Mukoya Laurentius, told the Windhoek Observer that he had not encountered any hiccups at most of the registration points.

Laurentius said he has received complaints from undocumented people who want to register but are unable to do so because they lack identity documentation.

“We do not have any challenge. The only challenge we have is documenting those who are undocumented. The mass state documentation capturing programme by the Ministry of Home Affairs was supposed to come here in February, but they did not show up.

I followed up and was told they are now coming to register the people from 1-2 July, but five days is not enough. We need at least ten days. Plus, they will have to come back again because the schools are now closed, and these learners will also need to be registered for documentation,” he said.

Laurentius said the home affairs officials will have to work some miracles to finish documenting the people and ensure that those who could not register do so by the end date of 1 August.

John Likando, the Councillor of the Kabbe South Council in the Zambezi region, said he has observed a low turnout by the community, which he explained is of concern.

“We are noticing a low turnout from the community members at the registration points, and this needs urgent intervention from all of us as stakeholders,” said Likando.

Likando attributed the long distance people have to travel to some centres with low turnouts and has now called on political parties and those with the means to assist in providing transport to the community to go out in numbers and register.

He said that from next week, he will go live on the national radio stations to sensitise the community while also engaging organisations to head campaigns aimed at encouraging the community to register.

When questioned about the difficulties the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) confronts with the general registration vote (GRV).

De Wet Siluka, the spokesperson for ECN, stated that his office has not yet received a report on challenges, among other things.

In the event of challenges that may arise, Siluka said the ECN is ready to assist wherever it can to ensure a seamless registration process.

He said that in remote areas, the ECN has deployed a mobile trailer that moves from place to place and that it operates a full day in a particular place, depending on the number of people.

He said community members in remote areas can always also contact the commission, which will then send the closest team to attend to them.

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