Photo courtesy of The Namibian
As the controversy around electronic voting machines has grown, so too have accusations of political hypocrisy around the machines
Popular Democratic Movement president McHenry Venaani has been outspoken about the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the 27 November 2019 National Assembly and Presidential elections.
What has lately apparently fueled Venaani’s opposition to the use of EVMs is the unresolved saga of missing EVMs that were meant to be used at a ruling Swapo Party electoral event in mid 2017.
Because of his opposition to the use of EVMs, the PDM leader has attracted criticism and recrimination, especially from ruling party supporters.
One such criticism claimed the following:
Namibia Fact Check attempted to fact check the claim that that the PDM used EVMs at its recent elective congress.
What we found:
When contacted to respond to the claim, PDM secretary general Manuel Ngaringombe said the PDM has never made use of EVMs for any of its congresses and that the only Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) equipment that the party has ever borrowed were voting booths. Ngaringombe said the party had made use of the voting booths twice and returned them intact to the ECN on both occasions.
Another related claim was also that the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) had used EVMs in their recent and previous leadership elections. The claim was made by ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro in late October 2019 on a live radio broadcast.
Mujoro clearly said:
“We have loaned these machines … I think, at one point to RDP”
However, similar to the PDM, the RDP has also denied this to Namibia Fact Check.
Efforts to get the ECN to comment on the issue have proven to be unsuccessful to date.
Given the above, Namibia Fact Check has not been provide with evidence that either categorically confirms the claim or clearly falsifies it, except for the word of political party officials.