Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) is satisfied with the just-concluded training of voter card registration officials, despite the one incident where one of the trainees collapsed during training at Swakopmund.

While some people attributed the collapse of the young man to hunger, ECN’s spokesperson Mr De Wet Mulauli Siluka said that he would only agree that the person collapsed due to hunger if such information came from a medical doctor.

“The person was taken to the hospital, and only a doctor can say for sure that he had collapsed due to hunger,” Siluka said.

Siluka maintained that it was just fair that the ECN did not provide any food to the trainees.

“All of us are expected to come to work with a lunch-box,” he said.

But a member of the public said such reasoning was not acceptable.

“How can they take unemployed youth and say you are training them without a droplet of food? At least even just a small advance for food and transport to get to the training centres?” she queried.

“But of course the trainees will receive their training allowances in due course,” Siluka replied to the query.

The one week training that took place last week in all regions consisted of 3,280 individuals who were selected out of over 82,000 applications received by ECN a month ago.

“The training, which comprised of equipping the trainees with information and knowledge of the voter registration and other electoral processes, was completed. What is left is now for the assessment results, to determine who will be taken up and be given these temporary jobs,” Siluka said.

Siluka added that at least 2,300 of them will be taken up, and the rest will be kept in reserve for if any of them will be needed in future.

Namibians will go to the polls at the end of this year to elect a new president and members of the National Assembly.

Despite being an upper middle income country, Namibia is a country with acute income inequalities. Last week President Nangolo Mbumba declared a state of emergency, saying that the nation is experiencing serious hunger as a result of a serious drought situation. He pleaded for help from the international community.

In the photo: Some of the young people who received voter registration training.