By Ester Mbathera

TWO members of the ruling Swapo Party have submitted their nominations this month to partake in the Walvis Bay Urban by-elections, set for January next year, as independent candidates.

One such candidate is the former boxing promoter, Knowledge Ipinge and the other is community activist Kenneth Iilonga. They both handed in their nominations as independent candidates for the regional council by-elections.

“I submitted my name [as an independent-candidate nominee] on Friday morning, two days prior to the public seating. I managed to get over 200 signatures,” Impinge said.

Iilonga is trying his luck at the regional councillor position, after his failed attempt to register a political party in the just-ended presidential and National Assembly elections.

“Me (sic) entering the race is not politically motivated, but to help the nation. If there is anyone who has a problem with my membership to Swapo, let them do as they please. I have no problem with that. If you have a problem with it come and take your membership cards back but bring along the money that I have been paying for the membership,” Ilonga said.

The Electoral Commission of Namibia’s Walvis Bay Urban by-elections returning officer, Jeffrey Manale, confirmed the two independent candidates’ nominations.

“There are two independent candidates and this information I have sent through to the head office in Windhoek. So they are busy scrutinising these applications,” Manale explained.

The by-elections are necessitated by the resignation of the former Walvis Bay Urban councillor, Hafeni Ndemula, who is heading to the National Assembly.

Ndemula’s resignation was in compliance with the Electoral Act 47 of 2014 and the Constitution that require politicians to resign if they want to be on the political party lists of candidates for the National Assembly.

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