25 Nov 2014 16:50pm
RUNDU, 25 NOV (NAMPA) Over 800 polling officials at Rundu boycotted training on Tuesday morning due to the low wages they are being paid.
The officials are receiving training for the upcoming Presidential an National Assembly elections at the Dr. Romanus Kampungu Secondary School and the University of Namibia (Unam) Rundu Campus.
They refused to enter the training centres on Tuesday, demanding that the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) gives them better incentives.
The officials also declined to sign the attendance register and fill in forms of their bank details, because they want the ECN to address their unhappiness first.
They receive N.dollars 100 daily for attending training.
The disgruntled officials spent the rest of the day at the schools sports stadium nearby, chanting slogans such as No money no election.
Some of the officials told this agency on condition of anonymity for fear of being victimised, that they want the ECN to increase the amounts being paid to them.
Polling officials will apparently be paid N.dollars 665 on election day, while presiding officers will receive N.dollars 778.
They want a daily training allowance of N.dollars 200, and N.dolars 1 500 for work done on election day.
This reporter has since established that polling officials in the Kavango West Region also boycotted training on the same day for similar reasons.
Members of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) were dispatched to restore order in case the disgruntled crowd gets unruly.
Three SADC election observers dispatched to the Kavango East Region were also at the sports stadium to monitor the situation.
ECN Kavango East region Coordinator Michael Kabwata told this agency on Tuesday that the trainees were instructed to report for training Tuesday afternoon, while the ECN head office is looking into their demands.
For the elections on Friday, 852 polling officials will work in the Kavango East Region, and 966 in the Kavango West Region.