Voter apathy among the youth

09 September 2019 | Columns

Voter registration in Namibia is an independent responsibility, so citizens choose whether they want to register or not.

Without any doubt, this will lead to less people within the voting age population being registered to vote in the upcoming general election slated for November 2019.

While elections are an occasion for people to have a say on how they are governed and who will hold political power, voter apathy is a growing concern, especially among young people. Given their large numbers, when young people vote, they can decide the outcome of elections. If the low voter turnout of the recently concluded Ondangwa Urban constituency and Oshakati East constituency by-elections is anything to go by, we should really be worried. There are several reasons why younger people tend to be underrepresented at the polls. One, ironically, is their frustration over serious problems that may be affecting our country. The greatest challenge that human beings face the world over is the inability to change the past, hence liberation credibility will no longer be used by any political establishment as a yardstick to lure people to participate in elections. If you are a young person in many places across Africa, including Namibia, you are coming of age in an environment where you see corruption and corrupt leaders being glorified, your tax money being invested, yet there are no returns on the investment made, the education system falling apart, yet we shamelessly defend it and a depressed economy, yet we politicise its status. The heinousness of the task of changing the environment is something that drives voter apathy.

In light of the above, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has an essential role to play in creating awareness and enthusiasm about the upcoming polls. Voter education may be the best solution for apathy, because it helps people to understand that while countrywide problems need to be dealt with, participation in local elections is one way of taking action to fix the situation in their own localities. It is, however, disheartening that local authorities in Namibia have become synonymous with unending squabbles. Over the years this infighting has culminated in so-called defiant councillors being recalled, and at times suspended, by those in the upper echelons of their respective parties. We are reminded of unpopular political developments at the Rundu town council and Okahandja municipality, to mention a few.

If one was to carry out a survey on the perception of the state of public accountability, you would expect the results to show a citizenry who have lost trust in public office-bearers and public institutions. The private sector is not exempted either.

To be truly devoted to our motherland, we need to be change agents. We need to demonstrate love towards our country and all its people. We need to demand the highest standards for our country and accept nothing less from its people. Therefore, it is not enough to vote. We have a broader civic consciousness to hold elected officials accountable. We have an obligation to influence them by offering suggestions. After all, patriotic leadership is demonstrated when you have solutions.

In conclusion, over 50% of our total population is comprised of young people whose financial troubles have not been satisfactory addressed. Our failure as a nation to address their demands for jobs, better education and other empowerment opportunities will continue to be a recipe for voter apathy.

Kauhakanua Martin Mbambus

Similar News

 

Taking the employee experience to the next level

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Columns

Jimi HillGone are the days where pay was pretty much the main factor in deciding where your next gig/job would be. The employee experience has...

A fish rots from the head

4 days ago - 14 November 2019 | Columns

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” Mark Twain once said.In the end, truth will...

Voting on empty bellies

5 days ago - 13 November 2019 | Columns

Three children have died from malnutrition at Amarika in the Omusati Region during the past three months, while an investigation by Namibian Sun has found...

Spare a thought for students

6 days ago - 12 November 2019 | Columns

Namibians students have been greatly unhappy this year. And seemingly, no one has been listening. In fact we wonder if those at whom the student...

Dealing with indecision

6 days ago - 12 November 2019 | Columns

Evany van Wyk I have always been and will continue to be honest about my utter inability to make a decision. It’s something that just...

We need to embrace the Cloud

1 week ago - 08 November 2019 | Columns

Syed Asad Abbas There’s a lot of hype about the Cloud, however what comes to mind when you hear that your software will sit in...

Panga attack should wake nation

1 week ago - 08 November 2019 | Columns

Yesterday 26-year-old Sam Nauyoma Petrus appeared in the Ohangwena Magistrate’s Court amid extraordinary scenes of his out-of-tune behaviour.Petrus is accused of killing all but three...

When things go south

1 week ago - 08 November 2019 | Columns

Frank Chikane's book 'Eight Days in September: The Removal of Thabo Mbeki' gives a riveting, behind-the-scenes account of the removal of Mbeki as the neighbouring...

Our rape crisis

1 week ago - 07 November 2019 | Columns

Today we carry some shocking revelations from rapists about why they forced their victims to have sex.Among these were being under the influence of alcohol...

Between rights and terrorism

1 week ago - 05 November 2019 | Columns

Reports that some people who just returned to Namibia from exile in Botswana recently have crawled back into their political cocoons to demand the cessation...

Latest News

August 26 CEO innovates

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Business

Elizabeth Joseph ...

Fishing quotas under scrutiny

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Fishing

President Hage Geingob and acting fisheries minister Albert Kawana will meet next week to discuss the credibility of the fishing quota allocation process, as well...

Geingob was 'talked out of'...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob had written dismissal letters for ministers Sacky Shanghala and Bernhard Esau on Wednesday morning, but a high-level meeting that included Vice-president Nangolo...

Helping people help themselves

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van WykMarjolize Scholtz has been a wellness professional for over 17 years. During her career her empathy towards people has grown immensely. Scholtz was...

Putting on a corporate...

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Elizabeth Joseph Margaret Thatcher once quipped that if you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman. Langford...

Fuelled by ­creativity

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Evany van Wyk “Every challenge is put on your path to groom you and build you and if I had the opportunity to change something...

A musician at heart

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | People

Queen, Mumford and Sons, as well as Koos du Plessis are all musical influences that Ruan Greeff, or John Rock Prophet as you may know...

EVMs in the firing line

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Politics

Independent president candidate Panduleni Itula, the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and Swapo will square off in the electoral court on Tuesday, 19 November over...

Unshackling the toothless ACC

3 days ago - 15 November 2019 | Opinion

Much has been said about the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over the years. Many have called it toothless.Revelations this week that it has been sitting on...

Load More