"Stay at home if you do not want to vote": Pohamba

13 Dec 2013 17:10pm
MPUNGU VLEI, 13 DEC (NAMPA) - Eligible voters who are threatening to stay away from voting because of differences with their government and/or traditional authorities, have been told to stay away from the polls.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba said this during the inauguration of the one-billion-dollar Tsumeb-Katwitiwi road at the Mpungu Vlei, situated some 170km west of Rundu on Friday.
Pohamba said he is disturbed by some inhabitants of the Kavango West Region who are threatening people to get work they want done.
Some villagers at the Simanya village on the outskirts of Nkurenkuru town recently threatened to boycott next year’s national and presidential elections, if the government does not resolve the dispute they have with their Ukwangali Traditional Authority leader Chief Sitentu Mpasi.
The villagers have been accusing the Ukwangali leader of grabbing their land without their knowledge, and then allegedly selling it to wealthy people.
The president, who was visibly disturbed by the developments, stated in no uncertain terms that nobody will be forced to go and vote.
The Head of State, however, cautioned them that should they decide not to vote, they will stay without a voice in their governance as they will not have a representative in parliament or regional council.
“Why threatening to vote even if you have a dispute. If you don’t want to go to election, stay at home,” Pohamba said.
He repeatedly told inhabitants of the Kavango West Region to stop their growing threats towards the government, stressing that the country cannot be built with threats.
The Namibian leader indicated that the Tsumeb-Katwitwi road did not come from the resources of the Kavango West Region, which just like the Ohangwena Region, is dubbed the poorest regions in the country because of a lack resources.
He said the money for developments in their regions might have come from other regions with abundant resources such as fish and diamonds, and residents of Kavango West should thus refrain from making any threats.
The Statesman indicated that the road was not built because of threats residents have been making, but because the government has infrastructural development programmes in place.
The 180km Tsumeb-Katwitwi road links the Kavango West and the Oshikoto regions.
This road is also expected to improve transport between Namibia and south-eastern parts of Angola, and is also part of the regional link between Tsumeb and Minonge, the capital of Cuando Cubango Province in Angola.