THE Electoral Commission of Namibia representative in //Karas, Barendt Both, is being accused of nepotism to ensure a family member was appointed to work as polling officer during Friday's Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Disgruntled jobless residents,who flocked since last Thursday to the Suiderlig High School recruitment centre to replace successful applicants who did not turn up to take up the ECN job offer, claimed Both apparently influenced the appointment of his son Barendt Both.
They charged Both pushed for his son's appointment, although he had not even applied for the job.
One of the jobless residents explained that Both's son was among the hundreds who had not applied for the polling officers position, but who flocked to the recruitment centre hoping to be offered a job to replace successful residents who did not turn up.
“Just a few hours after his name was put on the waiting list, Both's son was offered the job,” a visibly angry resident said, adding this was a clear indication that Both junior was “favoured” as he was offered the job at the expense of some of those who first put their names on the waiting list.
During the November 2009 elections, accusations of nepotism were also levelled against //Karas ECN management for allegedly having appointed their wives, friends and relatives.
Both yesterday acknowledged that his son was appointed as polling officer, but rejected claims that he had influenced his appointment.
“I am neither responsible for the recruitment nor did I influence my son's appointment,” Both countered.
According to Both, his son was appointed by the ECN head office after being selected from the waiting list of 237 potential candidates to replace 73 successful applicants, who did not up to accept the job offer.
Both also stressed that none of those on the waiting list had applied for the polling officer job.
“They are telling ECN officials that they were phoned to report for duty, but when we verify with the HR office in Windhoek, we are told that their names did not appear on the list of successful applicants,” said Both.
Both also revealed that although the application requirement clearly stipulates that applicants should only apply for positions in the constituency where they live, more than 50 applicants who hailed from other regions were appointed by the ECN to work in the //Karas region during Friday's elections.
“Some of them even asked us to provide them with accommodation,” said Both.