WINDHOEK, 19 JUN – Five male candidates shortlisted for the position of Chief Electoral Officer of the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) on Monday presented their case as to why they think they are the right candidates for the post.
The shortlisted candidates are Moses Ndjarakana, Theo Mujoro, Franco Cosmos, Amon Haimbangu and Helmuth Naweseb.
In a public interview, each candidate was required to explain why their professional experience, ability to solve difficult situations, the reforms they would bring, their ability to run an entity prudently and to promote its image both locally and internationally, would make them the best contender for the job.
First to take on the panel was Haimbangu, a teacher by profession who also holds a bachelor’s degree in business. He vowed to bring in people with the requisite skills at ECN in order to take the organisation forward.
This exercise will be realized through conducting an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of the organisation.
Another aspect he will address is ECN’s outdated employment structure which is comprised of only 52 staff members.
“I will find out whether the organisational structure is relevant and speaks to the current needs of the organisation,” he said.
He promised to focus on how best information and communication technology can be used to make the commission more effective and efficient, while also investing time and money in civic voter education.
Next in line was Cosmos, a former magistrate in the Khorixas district, whose legal background has ingrained in him the ethos and decorum of impartiality and fairness.
“Law should be applied without fear or favour and without emotions,” he said.
In the past, Cosmos oversaw over 900 employees at the Husab Mine, thus having 52 under his watch at ECN won’t be a problem, he said.
One of the key reforms he intends to bring is to amend the Electoral Act, No.5 of 2014, which prohibits voting hours from going beyond 21h00.
In terms of financial prudence, Cosmos promised to operate within the framework of a given budget and target priority areas.
He was followed by Naweseb,a holder of a bachelor of laws degree as well as a master’s degree in an unspecified field, who claimed to possess the experience to take charge of ECN.
“I have the quality and experience that can enable me to run this entity efficiently and impartially,” he told the panel.
Next in line was ECN’s former Director of Elections, Ndjarakana, who holds a masters of law degree in administrative and constitutional law and legislative drafting and has been in the field of elections for over 20 years.
Stating his argument for the position and pointing at his attributes, he said: “The CEO has to be a planner, an organizer, a leader and a controller of the strategic objectives of the institution.”
Equally beaming with confidence was Mujoro, a former journalist and master’s degree holder in public administration.
“I strongly believe that I am capable to take on this particular responsibility. There is not a thing I do not know about this organisation. Maybe it’s not a fancy statement to say but I have been around,” he said, adding that “In fact, the position I currently have is defacto CEO.”
Mujoro, the current manager of operations at ECN, boasts a 17-year experience at the commission, 10 of which were spent at managerial level.
One of his chief pre-occupations if successful is to ensure that the issue around independence of ECN is ironed out and that the entity becomes relevant in the regions.
The candidates will know their fate in 30 days.