SIBBINDA: Voting began at a snail’s pace in the Sibbinda Constituency by-election underway in the Caprivi Region on Friday.
All 16 polling stations, of which five are mobile, opened their doors at exactly 07h00 this morning.
The polling stations at the Sikosinyana and Simataa senior secondary schools only had a few people, at the most nine, lining up to vote.
The presiding officer at the Sikosinyana Secondary School polling station, Berry Kasungo told Nampa that eligible voters are turning up one by one because the majority have apparently gone to their mahangu fields as this is the time when most of them start clearing their fields to prepare for ploughing.
He said the number of eligible voters is expected to increase in the afternoon when the locals return from their fields.
At the Simataa Secondary School polling station, the situation was very much the same.
Mostly elderly people were seen queuing up, while the rest had apparently gone to harvest reeds at the river, presiding officer Candy Zungi said.
By 10h00 this morning, only about 50 people had cast their votes at the Simataa polling station.
All polling stations will close at 21h00 on Friday evening, and the counting of votes is expected to begin immediately thereafter.
Over 6 000 eligible voters are expected to cast their votes in the Sibbinda Constituency by-election, necessitated by the death of Felix Mukupi of the Swapo Party in June this year.
Four political parties – Swapo, DTA of Namibia, Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) and the Congress of Democrats (CoD) – have fielded candidates in the by-election.