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SA forensic company calls for re-run of Botswana elections

A South African forensic investigator has called for a re-run of Botswana 2019 elections following rigging claims. Speaking in Johannesburg, South Africa during a press briefing the investigator Paul O’ Sullivan advised Botswana opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader Duma Boko to carry an independent audit of the just ended elections.

“Our recommendations to Advocate Boko is that there needs to be a proper independent audit of the elections and it needs to be formed urgently,” he stated. He cautioned that the audit itself should be properly overseen by an independent body, somebody that has no interest in the outcome of the audit. “We saying if our findings are confirmed by the audit, and we expect the findings to be confirmed by the audit, the results of the elections should be nullified and criminal charges preferred against the leadership of the BDP for engaging in election rigging,” the auditor pointed out.  

He insisted that the new elections should then take place with a proper oversight and the full use of electoral voting paint at all stations. Apart from the leadership of the BDP, Sullivan observed that there were other persons involved like the DISS and they need to be investigated to see what role they played, how he cash was withdrawn, and moved, and criminal sanctions should be applied against all of them, and those involved in vote rigging process should be allowed to participate in a new election that will replace the outcome of the existing election results.

“This should be all proven by an independent audit if what’s gone on in Botswana and we are hoping of this investigation and the court cases which Boko is launching today,” he added. According to the auditor, the cases will force the hand of the government and perhaps the citizens of the country who were involved in assisting in vote rigging to take a leave out of the book of the witnesses that were involved to come forward to confess that they realised what they have been involved in and that it was wrong and needs to be rectified.

Meanwhile when asked by an SA journalist if rigging only took place in constituencies that the UDC have lost and not others, UDC President Duma Boko said rigging took place in all the constituencies even those that his party won. “There was rigging right across Botswana. It differed only in scale. In certain instances there seems to have been a pattern which was to target certain constituencies mainly in southern parts of the country. Even though there was rigging in other constituencies it was not as massive as what took place in the other areas. And so in those constituencies where we won, we won in spite of the rigging, and the irregularities that were in those constituencies,” he said.  

According to the former Gaborone Bonnington North legislator, in the areas where the UDC lost, it was outrageous and shocking. “Areas where the BDP had lost consistently over the years and all of a sudden the margin were 7 000. It’s an outrageous outcome, where the opposition has controlled the majority of Councils seats and the BDP suddenly wins all the Council seats with astonishing margins. There is something seriously wrong here. So, we say in a word that there was massive rigging in the Southern parts of the country but that rigging was all over the country,” Boko insisted.

When the same journalist asked Boko why are he is holding the press conference in South Africa and not Botswana he said the team doing forensic is based in the country so it was easier to do the presser on their side. “Firstly is because the forensic team, the team that was doing the investigations is based here in SA. The second is we could not bring them over to Botswana because of the over bearing involvement of the DISS – these are the law unto themselves in Botswana – they can arrest for any and no reason, and detain at will,” he justified.

 
And so, he added, “when you are dealing with a rogue institution that gets in matters that do not concern it, that deserves the institution of by law they are supposed to be operating in particular spaces then you have a situation where you can’t take chances. We can’t expose our team at this stage, to harassment.”

Boko also attacked the media of being captured

The third point why he held a press conference in SA, he said is, in the lead up to elections, they saw that the BDP in addition to purchasing and deploying cash to buy voters, had also bought the press. “Some of the main publications in Botswana, the Sunday Standard, a Sunday newspaper has been at the fore front of running a smear campaign against me in particular and the opposition in general,” he observed.  

The UDC leader also mentioned that no paper has been printing Public Relations front for the BDP like another newspaper called The Patriot on Sunday newspaper which was also involved in the matter. “So when you invite a captured Press in a small country like Botswana and you want them to tell your story, in fact you want them to tell this story, not necessarily your story but report accurately and fairly, if you expect to get some of these reports from the publications, then your expectations are terribly misplaced,” he maintained.  

So the ex-leader of opposition stressed that it’s better to deal with press that they believe is ethically, untainted and uncompromised and uncaptured as they expect them to tell the story as accurately as they can and not to favour anybody but to speak the truth. “And we cannot expect that from the bulk of the press in Botswana,” he emphasized. Following Boko’s comment, the forensic auditor Sullivan also added that Botswana, for it to be able to address the world, is very unlikely as they may not get the amount of attention needed on this hence why they opted for SA presser.

He also revealed that “I can also inform you as a results of what we found, we have already notified of our government, the SA government, I have already had meetings and I have passed the documentation to the government to be aware of the fact that our neighbour is being run by an illegitimate government.”

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Ministers key to Masisi presidency revealed

7th December 2021
President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has identified at least 12 cabinet ministers who form part of his long-term plans owing to their loyalty and tenacity in delivering his vision. Masisi, who will see-off his term in 2028 — provided he wins re-election in 2024 — already knows key people who will help him govern until the end of his term, WeekendPost has learnt.

Despite negative criticism towards ministers from some quarters over a number of decisions and their somewhat cold deliberations and failure to articulate government programs, Masisi is said to be a number one cheer leader of his cabinet. He is said to have more confidence in his cabinet and believes going forward they will reach the aspired levels and silence the critics.

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Free at last: Ian Kirby Speaks Out

6th December 2021
Justice Ian Kirby

The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.

WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?

Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.

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Civil society could rescue Botswana’s flawed democracy’ 

6th December 2021
Parliament

Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed.  This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.

In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’  The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.

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