Mmegi Blogs :: BDP, suspect for fraud!
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Wednesday 18 October 2017, 06:00 am.
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BDP, suspect for fraud!

There is suspicion in the opposition that introduction of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the 2019 General elections is a desperate attempt by the BDP to steal the elections.
By Michael Dingake Tue 28 Mar 2017, 16:47 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: BDP, suspect for fraud!








I’ve good reason to concur with the sentiment, not necessarily because I am counted in the opposition, but because of the personal observation I’ve made over the years I’ve been around to participate in the elections. In the first 1965 general elections, I must confess, I was excited and naïve as voting by me was a novel experience as it was for everyone black in Southern Africa. Moreover the commitment to multiparty democracy by all the political parties participating sounded and felt quite genuine and the supervision of the elections was by an outgoing neutral colonial administration which appeared to have no axe to grind and to be beyond bias since on the face of it, it needn’t have had any interest!

Then I went AWOL and missed three general elections, 1969, 1974 and 1979. The 1984 general elections produced the Tshiamo Box scandal in which Peter Mmusi the Vice President of the ruling party won the Gaborone South constituency by disappearing a ballot box from the constituency tally. The supervision of the elections was under the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP).

Name withheld! When the missing box was discovered and a bye-election held, Dr Kenneth Koma leader of the opposition won with a clear majority! Empirical evidence number one to show the ruling party meant to win elections not only by fair methods but by foul methods if necessary! Following the Tshiamo Box scandal there was an outcry for an independent elections commission. BDP reaction to the demand for IEC was to install Rre Mmono as general elections neutral umpire; but Rre Mmono was a card-carrying member of the BDP! So the agitation grew louder when Mmono was employed; the opposition parties contemplated and mobilised to boycott the 1994 elections.

Threat of elections boycott shook the governing party; BDP panicked and dropped its wiles for winning elections, when BNF changed its mind to boycott. With its guards down and confused, the results were dramatic; the opposition BNF increased its MPs from three to thirteen seats! The semi-independent IEC headed by Gabriel Seeletso appointed by a partisan President was then conceded; Hon Seeletso knew as everybody knew, that his IEC was independent only  in name.

It couldn’t have been when the state media operated arrogantly as the BDP propaganda machine; it couldn’t have been while constituency delimitation wasn’t in its mandate; it couldn’t have been while the ruling party openly benefited from the incumbency factor, using helicopters and Government vehicles in election campaigns! He knew and never questioned the embarrassment he was exposed to. Hon Lethebe Maine contemporarily appointed the first Ombudsman was alert. His Office was similarly flaunted as independent, but he knew as many knew, it wasn’t.

Unlike Hon Seeletso,

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he made himself heard, by organising a seminar to interrogate the independence of the Office! He was sensitive to the view of running an independent Office which wasn’t independent!   Hon Seeletso, my relative-in-law, has been transferred from Secretary of the suspicion-ridden IEC to EVM consultant, the election-machine under a cloud! Who can believe him when he runs around, husky voice becoming huskier, trying to convince Batswana that the EVM isn’t for rigging 2019 elections, which from all lenses seem destined to cut short the 50-year winning streak of the BDP? Seeletso, like the EVM machines he’s vehemently promoting against shrill opposition voices, is suspect.

I am not techno-savvy, but from the little I have read about the lack of verifiable paper trail, to ‘inquisition’ unsatisfactory results, plus the fact that when it comes to the question of retaining political power, the BDP has no equal, I am overwhelmed by circumstantial evidence. Listening to how badly President Ian Khama wishes his party to stay in power in perpetuity, you immediately sense, free and fair elections, always an endangered species everywhere, in Botswana, Batswana are holding a vigil for its burial! Just recently, addressing a BDP Women Conference, he exhorted women to work hard to keep the BDP in power for ANOTHER 50 years! One can see here is a man and party that wouldn’t let power slip from their grasp. BDP is far from being steady on its legs nor confident on its capability to remain in power!

The coming elections are for the opposition to lose! That’s why BDP is doing its best to forestall disaster now that it’s running out of steam. Before Domkrag introduced Buleladitswe (primary elections), Parliamentary and Council candidates were selected through the Committee of 18. The method had to be abandoned because it stirred rebellion within the party due to the cheating that went on at that level. Buleladitswe hasn’t  banished fraudulent elections conduct. Cheating and fraud continues unabated intraparty. Right now we read and hear about flying chairs and exchange of blows at party meetings due to the incidences of BDP factions’ tendency of cheating each other.

Dishonesty, fraudulence, cheating tendencies run deep in the BDP family. Batswana must ask themselves, if BDP engages in intraparty misdemeanour, can non-affiliates  be spared? With Domkrag, politics is for self-enrichment. Multiparty democracy is but a smokescreen to indulge in electoral authoritarianism, while once in power, you’re there to stay!

It’s a game of loaded dice which roll to the advantage of the dice-thrower! What should Batswana make of the normal acquiescent BDP MPs now threatening to jettison the President’s demand for a P34m handshake unless the President concedes to their demands to hike salaries? Chew that!

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As I see It
Tue 28 Mar 2017, 16:47 pm
Tue 21 Mar 2017, 15:34 pm
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