Mmegi Online :: Fraud allegations in GCC elections
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Last Updated
Wednesday 20 March 2019, 15:58 pm.
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Fraud allegations in GCC elections

Gaborone mayor Haskins Nkaigwa and his deputy Florence Shagwa were re-elected yesterday amid controversy after a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillor for Itumeleng ward, Dlamini Kwapa, was accused of tampering with ballot papers.
By Staff Writer Thu 21 Mar 2019, 00:17 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Fraud allegations in GCC elections








When the ballot papers were counted in the mayoral elections, it was realised that there were 36 ballot papers, despite the fact that there were 35 before they were handed to councillors for voting. The opposition collective had 19 votes against the BDP's 17 votes.

 When Gaborone City Clerk Agnes Seragi, who was the presiding officer, revealed that there was an extra ballot paper, councillor Tshepo Moloko said that Kwapa had added it, throwing the council into a heated verbal exchange between BDP and opposition councillors.

An enraged Rupert Hambira rallied around his BDP colleague and said Moloko must substantiate his "serious" accusations. Moloko then told council that he saw Kwapa cut a piece of paper and cast it with his ballot paper. Moloko sits next to Kwapa in the council chambers.

"If you could come and look at his papers, you will realise one of them had been cut," he said. He was supported by another opposition councillor Moagi Taunyane, who said that he had heard Kwapa boast that he would cast two ballot papers. When some BDP councillors asked him to retract his accusations, Moloko stood his ground,

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saying there was clear proof that Kwapa had cheated.

Kwapa stood up to clear his name, saying: "Please don't soil my name with these untruths before the public." The shouting went on prompting the city clerk to call for order. "Honourables! Is this how you demonstrate your honour? You should know that we left our offices to come and attend this council session," she said.

She added that they should take cognizance of the fact that the media "is also here and they will publicise all these".

The results were nullified and the election was repeated, which saw Nkaigwa shrugging off former mayor Veronica Lesole to retain the mayoral chain with 19 votes against 16. On the other hand, Shagwa beat specially-elected BDP member, Rupert Hambira by 19-15 votes. One ballot paper was spoilt.

In his acceptance speech, Nkaigwa said he was grateful to opposition councillors for re-electing him adding that it shows they still have confidence in his leadership.  He said councillors should not allow party differences to affect their major role of serving the electorate. Nkaigwa is a BMD councillor, whilst Shagwa is a BCP councillor.

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