The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is considering private prosecution of culprits who engineered the bogus petition that led to the controversial postponement of the Francistown West parliamentary by-elections last year.
That is in case the police come to the conclusion that there is insufficient evidence against chief suspect Zazambi Tuelo and other Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members. The police instituted investigations early this year after the BCP reported the matter citing suspicion of criminal conduct by chief petitioner, Tuelo and his BDP colleagues.
The BCP secretary for legal affairs, Morgan Moseki told Mmegi yesterday that they got the reply from the Commissioner of Police, Keabetswe Makgophe recently that the matter has been referred to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice. “We are considering the turn of events in the political field, that is, one of the engineers of the botched up petition is now an honourable councillor in the Francistown City Council.
“The impression we get is that the police are saying there is no evidence against the individuals concerned. Whilst we hold the view that this is a clear cut case which should not have taken so many months to conclude,” said Moseki.
He said they would wait and see and “should it turn out there is insufficient evidence we will consider private prosecution”.
Last November the said petition was presented to the then acting President Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe by over a thousand BDP followers who claimed to be Francistown West voters.
The petitioners wanted the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to allow former councillor for Monarch South Ignatius Moswaane to contest the parliamentary by-election even though he had been barred by a court order. Moswaane is now the Francistown West MP while Tuelo is a nominated councillor in Francistown. But it later emerged that the petition was bogus as it involved allegedly forged signatures exposed by both independent investigators in the media and opposition parties.
There was a lot of brouhaha after it was also discovered that even names of dead people and their purported signatures were in the petition. In a letter addressed to Makgophe, the BCP said following their perusal of the petition they came to the conclusion that the petition was forged and a fraud. The BCP backed its letter calling for an investigation of the petition with a sworn affidavit of Thabo Nyambe, who was a council candidate for the party at Kanana ward in Francistown and Noah Mmusi. The duo’s names appeared on the petition despite having not signed it.
A forensic consultant report on the alleged bogus petition also formed part of the letter.