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Mogoditshane parliamentary primaries’ appeal dismissed

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Tshepang Mabaila PIC. MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Kweneng East region has dismissed an appeal lodged against the conduct and outcome of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary primary election in the Mogoditshane constituency, won by Tshepang Mabaila.

The letter written in February by regional secretary, Obakeng Kgabo reads, “We have given careful consideration to the issues you raised and found that you have denied yourself the rights to appeal by violating section 12 (c) (i) under appeals which says; any appeals arising from the conduct of a primary election shall be lodged in writing not more than seven days after the primary election and only provided that the appellant shall have verbally indicated to the presiding officer/returning officer his intention to appeal and the reasons for such appeal”.

It states that in this case, the regional committee has been informed that the appellants did not indicate any disatisfaction because none of them were present during the announcement of the results and therefore “your appeal is dismissed”.

In their complainant letter, signed by former MP Patrick Masimolole, Kgang Kgang, Tuki Tshiamo and Chester Otisitswe state: “Prior to the elections, we up to January 8, 2018 verified voters’ rolls for each ward where just over 2,000 people were removed from the voters’ roll as they were not from our constituency.

We did this by highlighting the names on the provided voters’ roll. We were told the highlighted names will be removed and the final voters’ roll will be provided for all candidates to

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inspect and sign. This was never done.

It is common cause that our primaries are Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) compliant where it is standard practice that voters’ rolls are published for candidates to inspect”.

The letter states it is grossly irregular for candidates not to be provided with the voters’ roll prior to elections. It says if the constituency like others was ready for elections, then the voters’ roll was supposed to have been provided in time.

It continues: “We realised that some names that were to be removed from the voters’ roll were not removed at all. A case in point is Nkoyaphiri North and Mogoditshane Central South. It is worth noting that the names that were to be removed are associated with Mabaila as most of the cell secretaries are in his payroll as it was revealed during verification.  Instead, there was a systematic removal of eligible voters”.

The complainants said the membership card handling and distribution were not up to standard since almost two hours later membership cards were nowhere to be found after being handed to Gaborone South branch at around 6am.

Mabaila received 1,227 votes while the second best candidate, Mogogi Tshiamo, garnered 390 votes.  Former legislator, Masimolole managed only 350 votes while Emmanuel Otisitswe got 80 votes.



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