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UDC appoints Molutsi to evaluate 2019 general elections

UDC

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is yet to evaluate the contentious 2019 general elections.  The UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) during its last week meeting in Palapye resolved that Dr Patrick Molutsi be tasked with developing the Terms of Reference for the exercise and together with the assembled team work on the framework and methodology.

This was a matter arising item from the minutes of July 10, 2021 meeting. During last year NEC meeting it was agreed that the team be assembled by June 5, 2022 and the meeting further resolved that the evaluation exercise be completed by mid-August 2022.

“The Vice President of the UDC reported that there has not been much progress made since only the BNF [Botswana National Front] and BCP [Botswana Congress Party] had submitted names for the Task Team.

He also observed that the issue had been overtaken by time even though the evaluation of elections is important in informing the coalition about its strengths and weaknesses during the 2019 general elections and it would also help the collation prepare better for the next elections,” the UDC NEC minutes for May 21, 2022 meeting read.

The other coalition member the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) failed to submit names Molutsi’s Task Team. After the UDC lost the October 23, 2019 general elections some 15 parliamentary candidates led by UDC leader Duma Boko approached the High Court alleging the elections were rigged.

But the Court of Appeal in January 2020 dismissed the UDC bid to challenge election results that enabled President Mokgweetsi Masisi to secure a five-year term. Masisi’s Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won the majority during the general elections, securing 38 out of 57 seats in Parliament.

The UDC managed only 15 seats and filed a lawsuit shortly after the announcement, citing alleged rigging.  The UDC together with Alliance for Progressives (AP) and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) also announced plans to hold People’s Court in 2021 but date nothing has materialized. Witnesses were to take a stand and present documentary evidence to prove alleged vote rigging by the BDP during the 2019 general elections.

Nothing is being said about the People’s Court after it was postponed several times. It is also worth noting that some of the petitioners ended up losing their property for failure to raise capital to pay costs. Their property were sold by deputy sheriffs to the highest bidder.

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Hunt for new Ombudsman ongoing

17th August 2022

The Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni says the search to appoint the Ombudsman and other critical heads of department is currently ongoing and the process is expected to be completed before end of the year.

The Ombudsman position fell vacant almost five months ago after Augustine Makgonatsotlhe was removed from the office and appointed as Ambassador to Kuwait.

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Two Batswana detained in Zim for illegal trade in mercury

17th August 2022

Two Batswana nationals have been arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal trade in mercury. The duo is being held together with a Zimbabwean national who is being questioned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

This publication understands that the suspects who are aged between 39 and 56 years hail from Tutume and Selebi-Phikwe. At the time of the arrest, they were found in possession of a pistol, bomb motor and four live rounds. It is understood that the suspects told investigators during interrogation that the deadly substance has a lucrative market in Far East countries, where the demand is high. It is further reported that the suspects claimed that the mercury can be easily accessed in mines through middleman.

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No end in sight for Botswana/ Namibia looming border row

17th August 2022

The Namibian Lives Matter Movement has weighed in on the looming border dispute between their country and Botswana.

Commenting on reports that the Namibian Parliament has dispatched a committee along the border between the two countries on fact finding mission, the group commended“the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, De-fence and Security that will engage community members living along the Namibia Botswana Border in conducting public hearings into acts of aggression and brutality by Botswana Defence (BDF) Force against innocent and unarmed Namibians.” 

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