The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) would wish to make corrective submission to the article in Mmegi dated August 16 2017 titled, “Lessons from Kenya to Botswana – forego the Electronic Machine” authored by one of your columnists.
It is not the intention of the IEC to interfere with individual’s freedoms of expression, opinion and speech. IEC however would wish to respond to information or opinion devoid of facts and truth.
In the recently held elections (August 8, 2017) in Kenya, the manual ballot paper system was used. There were no Electronic Voting Machines(EVM) used as purported by the writer. Kenya uses the electronic Bio Voter Registration (BVR), electronic voter verification system for verifying voters and electronic transmission of results to results centres. It is therefore factually undisputable that no electronic voting machines were used in Kenya. The assertion by the writer on the use of electronic voting machines in Kenya elections is misleading in all accounts and factually incorrect.
It is therefore logically inappropriate to compare non-existent EVMs in Kenya with what is being planned for Botswana. The claims in associating a ‘failing’ technology (EVM) with the outcome of the election in that country when it was
The IEC has not received any electronic voting machines and when it does, the public will know immediately. As long as the machines have not been procured, education about the machine would be senseless. What has happened so far which the Commission continues to do, is voter sensitisation or building knowledge about the amendments such that when the machines are purchased the public is aware and more empowered to make informed decisions.
Knowledge and education are the weapons against acts of ignorance that may plunder the nation into utter confusion and mindless actions. As much as we enjoy the freedom of opinion and expression, we should similarly refrain from intentionally sowing seeds of discontentment based on factually wrong assumptions and misleading assertions. Batswana are in dialogue without intermittent convictions and ultimately facts will prevail; consequentially appropriate decision will be taken.