Last Updated
Friday 27 March 2015, 18:00 pm.
Politicians adopt draft code of conduct

FRANCISTOWN: Politicians participating at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) stakeholders workshop on Monday unanimously adopted a draft code of conduct.
By Staff Writer Sun 29 Mar 2015, 03:03 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Politicians adopt draft code of conduct








The draft code of conduct is meant to guide politicians on how they should conduct themselves as they prepare for the 2009 general election. The workshop participants were drawn from Francistown South, East, West, Tati East, West and Nkange constituencies.

The draft code of conduct says that intimidation in any form will not be permitted. No weapon of any kind should be brought to any public rally, meeting, march, motorcade or other demonstrations.

Party rallies, marches or other demonstrations should be held at least 500m away from each other if they are held at the same time of the day. Motorcades should strictly not pass through the rallies of other parties and they should refrain from utilising public address systems, either fixed or mobile between 21:00 and 05:00 hours, as this constitutes public nuisance.

Although the IEC secretary, Gabriel Seeletso, had earlier briefed the workshop that it was only the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and MELS that had already adopted the draft code of conduct. Other parties were able to adopt it from the floor of the workshop.

Satellite North councillor, James Kgalajwe, was the first to adopt the draft code on behalf of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). "I think this draft code of conduct would be very helpful as we go forward given the nasty incidents that dogged previous campaigns. Let's agree as a region to adopt the draft code for our own good," he said.

Francistown West MP, Tshelang Masisi, and BDP Central ward council candidate, Anthony Chebani, would later support him.

Former BDP councillor and now Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) council candidate in the Francistown West constituency, Albert Mudanga, supported the draft code on behalf of his party. He was also supported by another who identified himself with the BPP youth.

BCP Satellite South council candidate, Samuel Moribame, and colleague, Mmoloki Thomola, reiterated their party's known position.

Botswana National Front (BNF) representatives, Robert Maposa, and other youths supported the motion.

Although parties have adopted the draft code of conduct, the general concern was that law enforcement officers who are considered important stakeholders were not in the meeting.

City Mayor, Honest Billy, said it was important that the police who issue permits to hold political rallies should have been part of the meeting so that they could advice others on the common violations of the law by politicians.

It was unanimously agreed in the end that for the good of the region, individual parties should protect their activists against any behaviour that could offend others.
In particular, politics of mudslinging and character assassination were condemned across the political divide.

A BDP youth reminded the elderly politicians to desist from using insulting language at rallies indicating that whilst they are playing to the gallery, they run the risk of de-campaigning themselves.

A BDP council candidate from Ramokgwebana, Joyce Mahube, imagined the pain "our children often go through as they hear fellow politicians not only attacking us but insulting us at rallies. This often chases the youth away".

She added that voter apathy was generally caused by the bad behaviour of politicians.



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