Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has revealed that more than 1500 objections have been lodged with the Electoral Commission in the 2019 General Elections campaign. It is the highest number of objections since 1965 National Elections.
Some objections led to court including the famous case brought by John Siele against opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader and Gaborone Bonnington North Duma Boko. There were also objections lodged against the Alliance for Progressive (AP) leader and Gaborone Bonnington South contender Ndaba Gaolathe, as well as Gaborone North former legislator and candidate Haskins Nkaigwa, amongst others.
The objections are said to be more than the 1500 as the number only includes one general voters roll and on the other hand, some chickened out because of the tedious court process. IEC Spokesperson confirmed to Boko that: “we received the highest number of objections for the voters roll in this election.” He added that they were even higher than in 2014 as the 1500 encompassed only one 1 roll, alone. “This does not include the other two rolls which obviously will increase the number,” Maroba maintained.
In 2014, Maroba explained that the three rolls registered around only 700 objections. “So this is a sign that Batswana now understand democracy and want to protect its credibility and so they want to challenge anybody who they feel may want to destroy the free and fair elections,” he pointed out. According to Maroba, some of the objectors however chickened out because of the process of objecting in a court of law and whereby you sit in the dock defending your case which some are not comfortable with.
Is IEC ready to conduct the 2019 elections?
In terms of the Electoral Commission’s readiness, Maroba said the IEC is ready to conduct a credible and successful elections. “We are very ready, we are more than ready. We are ready in the sense that when we talk about the implementation of the Electoral law, there is nowhere we feel that we are behind the established frame work of the phases of electoral process,” he justified. Everything is on track, he stressed that adding that as you know, we conduct elections in accordance with the time frame as provided by the constitution.
“We have gone through all the exercises of registering voters; and we are satisfied after the voters’ rolls have been inspected, and followed by the objections from the public.” As mandated by the constitution, Maroba observed that the Electoral Act orders that all the election rolls must be reconciled to one big voters roll following the issuance of writ. Before that, the coming weekend after the expiry of 20 days after writ, there will be nomination of the Presidents, conducted by the Chief Justice of the High Court. Afterwards, 10 days later, there will be a nomination of the Members of Parliament and Councillors conducted by IEC. The Electoral Commission has also identified 26 000 Polling Officers which we are currently undergoing training.
SA Company to print the ballot papers
The IEC spokesperson also highlighted that once the IEC has received the names for everyone from all political parties, voting colours and symbols, they will then print ballot papers. “So, the emphases of our readiness is also that we already have a company from South Africa (he did not mention the name) who will be printing the ballot papers for the election,” he said.
It is understood that the company in question had printed papers for other countries elections like Malawi and Zambia. Meanwhile, the IEC also revealed that they are receiving observers, free missions, who will come and appreciate to see what is happening with the elections’ and see if we are prepared to carry out the elections especially international observer groups like African Union, SADC.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.