Mmegi Online :: IEC accused of neglecting PLWDs
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Last Updated
Thursday 22 August 2019, 08:24 am.
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IEC accused of neglecting PLWDs

PALAPYE: The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has been accused of neglecting people living with disabilities (PLWDs) as they are not assisted with transport to and from polling stations.
By Bonte Seepi Tue 19 Sep 2017, 16:06 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: IEC accused of neglecting PLWDs








Speaking during IEC Party Liaison Committee meeting here, Oganne Tshokologo from Ministers’ Fraternal said some PLWDs cannot walk to the polling stations and the government or IEC never come up with initiatives to cater for those.

Tshokologo suggested that the IEC should provide transport to those with disabilities so that they enjoy their right to vote.

Botswana Congress Party representative, Gaboletswe John also shared the same sentiments with Tshokologo. She said politicians use their own vehicles to assist elderly people and people living with disabilities during elections.

She added that in most cases, candidates know their electorates hence they know each and every elderly member of each ward and each person living with disability.

“Let’s stand up and help them, we (politicians) will also approach our candidates and urge them to help as usual.  People must know that politicians must be fully utilised during those days,” she said.

IEC principal elections officer Molatlhegi Baloi said the law does not allow one to be approached at home or be allowed to register there even if she/ he is a person living with disability.

“We are all Batswana therefore we shouldn’t separate PLWDs from others. 

We live

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with these people, so even during voting periods, let us assist them accordingly by providing them with transport. We are aware that some of them can’t walk themselves to the polling stations, but there is nowhere in the Constitution where it says they should be provided with transport,” he said.

Baloi further said if IEC was to approach PLWDs  at their homes and register them there, it will deny them the chance to mingle with other people and they will not know how it feels to be amongst other people.

“However, I urge politicians to help us on the issue by transporting their party members who are affected in that way to the polling stations,” he added.

Furthermore, Baloi called onto politicians to educate Batswana on the importance of registration and voting.

He said they ought to be reminded that it is their right and responsibility to register and vote without being dragged.

He urged people not to wait until the last few days of registration, as that would lead to crowding.

It has been said that the 2019 elections registration shall commence on September 3, 2018 and end on November 11, 2018.

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