The Monitor :: Bulela Ditswe Losers Decry Voter Trafficking
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Last Updated
Wednesday 21 November 2018, 15:42 pm.
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Bulela Ditswe Losers Decry Voter Trafficking

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Bulela Ditswe primary election weekend losers at Moselewapula ward have alleged that the winner had trafficked people from neighbouring Tonota, Mathangwane and other areas.
By Ryder Gabathuse Mon 23 Apr 2018, 15:08 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Bulela Ditswe Losers Decry Voter Trafficking








The winner, Gilbert Boikhutso separated himself from his competition by garnering 299 votes whilst the closest contender Joseph Mabutho got 60 votes, followed by Mavis Amos with 50, Joyce Ndove 38  and Kabelo Maseko trailed way off with 12 votes.

When the perennial primary elections loser Mabutho stood up to speak, he started off like a man accepting the results only to show his gratitude to the returning officer, councillor Lesego Raditanka for conducting the primaries very well. He would later dismiss Boikhutso’s win as tantamount to stealing the results alleging he ferried people from elsewhere to solidify his “undeserving” win.

“My major concern is that there were many vehicles that trafficked people from other wards and constituencies to come and vote for the winner. We didn’t know where the motor vehicles ferrying people to the polling station came from in some instances,” said Mabutho to a silent hall.

He said the number of votes accumulated by losing contestants reflected exactly the numbers in the ward indicating that as for the winner, the numbers that have elected him are unbelievable.

“As for the winner, it’s only a fraction of the numbers that are from this ward, the rest have been trafficked from elsewhere.”

Mabutho protested that they were deliberately given a short time to verify the voters’ rolls so that they may have a short time to raise their objections.

He told Raditanka that the winner was elected by people from outside his ward and that he even took time to point out to the returning officer one of the persons trafficked from outside the ward as tangible evidence when the particular voter cast his vote.

“I also showed you a car full of voters from Tonota in the morning to show you that the winner and his team were trafficking people from elsewhere. Since Friday evening, vehicles were delivering people from Tonota, Mathangwane and other areas,” decried Mabutho adding that with all his reasons, he was not accepting the results.

As if they had rehearsed, former deputy mayor, Ndove did not accept the results citing similar reasons as Mabutho. “I also support the story related by Mabutho and like him I have witnessed a pattern of people trafficked from outside the ward and therefore, don’t accept the results,” she said, adding that it was unfair to have outsiders

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dictating terms to them.

She stressed that the time for campaigns was far too short and that the voters’ rolls were issued very late, deliberately denying them an opportunity to verify them effectively. She said they only realised very late that the rolls contained trafficked voters.

For her part, Amos indicated that it raised eyebrows that cell group 25 suddenly registered hundreds of people given its small numbers. “This also happened during the 2014 general elections when we suddenly saw people disembarking from buses to come and vote. We are tired of allowing outsiders to dictate terms to us by determining our choice of candidates,” she said, encouraging Raditanka to take pertinent action to curb voter trafficking. Her concern was that the party could suffer in the long term as ward people might not vote for the party discouraged by voter trafficking.

Another losing candidate, Maseko was stunned by the reality that the names of all the people he had registered including his name as a council candidate were not on the voters’ roll.

“All the names of the people that I had registered are nowhere. As for the many people trafficked from elsewhere, I followed some of them and interrogated them and they were ashamed of their actions,” said Maseko.

He added: “I went to them and even if I could be requested to give evidence in this matter I am more than willing to do so, so that we can uproot this evil called voter trafficking.”As for the winner, Boikhutso he indicated that although they were given a short period to campaign, he thanked the party diehards to have entrusted him with the party ticket ahead of the impending by-election.

The returning officer, Raditanka advised those that had raised objections against the results to do so in writing within reasonable time so that they can duly be heard.

Generally, Raditanka thanked BDP members for calmness and cooperation they exhibited at the Mahudiring Primary School where the primaries were held on Saturday.

He was only disappointed by five spoiled votes in which concerned party members wrote: “Magodu a NPF, fok” which roughly translated to, “away with National Petroleum Fund thieves.” Although the primaries started a bit late, at about 07:30 am, they were also extended up to 7:30 pm following electricity cuts in the area.

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