Former Member of Parliament for Ghanzi North who was also contesting under the Umbrella for Democratic Change in the just ended 2019 elections, has dragged the Attorney General, Independent Electoral Commission and Commissioner of Botswana Police Services to court for an alleged election fraud.
Through his attorneys; Dick Bayford and Dutch Leburu, in the late night of Wednesday he filed an urgent application before the Gaborone High Court seeking the intervention of the court to stop a truck that was loaded with ballot boxes that was travelling from Ghanzi to Gaborone.
According to the Ghanzi District Council driver (name mentioned in the court papers) and a cleaner also working at Ghanzi District Council (name mentioned in the court papers), through their affidavits they expressed their suspicions about the boxes, they claim to have seen in the District Commissioner’s office from the 22 October 2019 until the 30th October, where they left from the council premises in a truck (number plates cited) and arrived in Gaborone.
After being tipped off that the boxes have been loaded in the truck and are on transit to an unknown destination, some of the party activists decided follow it upon its arrival at Indaba Lodge in Tlokweng. It is also alleged that during a stop in Kang, one of the drivers was interrogated on what was in the truck and he responded; 'it was ballot boxes'
Noah Salakae represented by Bayford and Associates and Dutch Leburu of Monthe Marumo Attorneys, then rushed to the High court to seek an immediate intervention for the truck to be stopped and its contents seized by the court since they suspected a possible election fraud. In his affidavit Salakae indicates that he was informed by one driver employed at the District Commissioner’s in Ghanzi that on the 22nd October, accompanied by the District Commissioner for Ghanzi Mr. Mooketsi Lesetedi, delivered a ballot box at the latter’s office which was rather awkward according to her.
He says later on the same day, he was informed by another driver employed by the District Commissioner that on the 24th October, he was instructed by Mr.Lesetedi to accompany him to the offices 0f the District Commissioner to collect a ballot box and he obliged. The box is said to have been transported to Ghanzi community where the counting of ballots for the constituency was being carried out.
“My campaign manager in the afternoon phoned me from Ghanzi and told me that a certain lady employed as an officer at the District commissioner’s offices had told him she had seen a ballot box loaded in a UD8 departing from Ghanzi of which some party activists followed it,” said Salakae. In his heads of submission, Bayford emphasized that the said ballot boxes will provide valuable evidence in an election petition. He however expressed this is a very embarrassing case, not only to the IEC but to the citizens of the country.
Judge Gabonagae then delivered a ruling upon which he ruled that the truck be kept under custody at the High Court for its official opening the next day. Multitudes thronged the High Court on Thursday while they waited in anticipation for the truck to be opened. The case will be heard on November 12th, 2019.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.