Omaheke farmworkers 'have no clue' on voter registration

20 Jan 2014 14:30pm
WITVLEI, 20 JAN (NAMPA) – Several farmworkers in the Omaheke Region have said they are clueless on the current voter registration process, and would as such find it hard to register.
Although some farmworkers confirmed being visited once by a Voter Education Officer (VEO) at their place of residence in the last few months, many said they only learned of the voter registration process recently from others.
Abraham Rooinasie, 47, who works on a farm situated some 40km south of Witvlei, told Nampa on Saturday that he was not aware of the details pertaining to the registration process as he only came to learn of it through employees on a neighbouring farm.
According to Rooinasie, it still remains unclear to the purpose of registering.
“All I heard is that there is a registration process going on for people who want to vote for an election party of their choice. What I do not understand is the whole process surrounding it. For example, where do I go to register and what happens when I go there,” he said.
Another employee on the same farm, Niklaas Geiseb, 28, said he only has a little knowledge of the voter registration process, although he was present at an information-sharing meeting on the process in Witvlei last year.
“Some of these things are too technical for us. All we know is that we have to register in order to be able to vote for people whom we want in power. But what is the point of that? What will it help?” he asked.
Farmworkers at a neighbouring farm, however, confirmed that an information-sharing session on the voter registration process was conducted on their farm.
“Yes, we were informed and educated on it last year November. But it was a small meeting attended by only a handful of people. I doubt if everyone has the correct information, especially those who were not at the meeting,” said an employee who refused to give his name.
The voter registration in Omaheke has been described by officials as being generally smooth.
The requisition of a municipal bill from those intending to register appears to be a stumbling block here for many, especially those residing in informal areas, as they cannot produce such a document.
The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has however made a provision for such instances - a person without a municipal account can be allowed to have one deponent to confirm his residency in the area where he intends registering as a voter.
The voter registration process started on 15 January and shall continue until 02 March 2014.