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AR in storm over ‘stealing’ voters’ signatures

Written by on June 19, 2024

The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement, fronted by University of Namibia associate professor Job Amupanda, has been plunged into controversy.

This comes after some Zambezi region residents accused the movement of using their signatures to push for its registration as a political party at the Electoral Commission (ECN) of Namibia without their consent.

Katima Mulilo Police Station commander chief inspector Charles Mayumbelo yesterday confirmed that a case was opened.

“There are a lot of other complaints, but so far one case has been opened at the station. We have the document with us,” he said

AR spokesperson George Kambala says the movement is waiting for feedback from the ECN about an objection to addressing the issue as per the Electoral Act.

He is accusing the Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) of calling AR activists to mitigate objections to the party’s application.

He says some party members have confirmed to him that they have been called.

Mulauli Siluka

“Our activists understand their civic duties and responsibilities towards their generation,” Kambala says.

ECN spokesperson Mulauli Siluka yesterday said the commission would pronounce itself on the matter after thorough investigation.

AR Zambezi regional coordinator Watson Kalaluka yesterday denied having registered voters on their list without their consent, adding one needs voters’ particulars to add them to the list.

He said the party sent a team around asking voters to endorse the AR to register.

“What people need to understand is that their names appearing on our list does not mean they are our members. We went to the streets and homes asking whoever wants fair democracy to help us register,” he said.

Kalaluka confirmed that he has received calls from various voters complaining about their names being on the list.

Some voters have even accused Kalaluka of taking names from a church list and registering them as party signatories.

Kalaluka denied these allegations, saying one needs a voter registration number to be added to the list.

“Voter registration numbers are not entered in church books. My church does not support politics, I do politics in my personal capacity,” he said.

Kalaluka said he understands there is a lot of pressure from political parties when they see their party members’ names on the list, which he says is mere politics.

“Luckily, ballots are secret. If people knew who we voted for, they wouldn’t be in the organisation. There are people who don’t vote for the parties they are members of,” he said.


Meanwhile, a source who prefers to remain anonymous, yesterday told The Namibian she was surprised when her brother showed her that her name appeared on the AR list.

The source said she called Kalaluka, who assured her the names had been removed from the list.

“This is dangerous. If people can register your name without you knowing, just think of what else they can do. I am going to open a case with the police,” she said.

The source has, meanwhile, indeed opened a police case against the AR movement, of which The Namibian has seen the case number.

The IPC’s mobiliser in the Omusati region, Titus Pendapala, has accused the AR of using a list of people who supported independent candidates in previous election, of which most signatories were IPC members.

Ndumba Kamwanyah


Political analyst Ndumba Kamwanyah says the move is the unnecessary destruction of an organisation that wants to build trust.

“If it’s true, it tarnishes the image of the party in terms of trust and credibility. It’s unbelievable that the party is allegedly engaging in fraudulent activities,” he says.

Kamwanyah, however, says he is finding it hard to believe that it’s true, since individuals need to provide their details to register.
It’s difficult to steal someone’s signature, he says.

Meanwhile, political analyst Ben Mulongeni says it’s natural that the IPC and AR would fight over members, given their past relationship.

Mulongeni refers to the situation between South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) and former ANC member Jacob Zuma.

“After the split between Zuma and the ANC, he went on to form a party using the ANC’s military wing name, ‘uMkhonto we Sizwe’, of which he was previously a top commander and a lot of voters followed him,” he says.

The post AR in storm over ‘stealing’ voters’ signatures appeared first on The Namibian.

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