In a weekend where many Cabinet ministers were guaranteed that they would be unemployed after October 2019, Vincent Seretse registered a win with a short-lived celebration.
Seretse won the polls at Lentsweletau-Mmopane with 1,514 votes against Magatusi Sebego’s 227, Chomie Letlole’s 779, Patrick Manthe’s 165, Nnaniki Makwinja’s 1,469, Reuben Mokopaina’s 171 and
Bennedict Molefe’s 215 votes cast.
After results were announced on Sunday morning, Makwinja said she did not accept the results, as there were a lot of irregularities.
“A lot of things went wrong with the elections. The officers were not trained before they could carry out this assignment and they made errors. We observed a lot of bias in the elections as we saw Seretse’s campaigners riding in one car with the returning officer. The playground was not level,” she said.
Makwinja who was only 45 votes behind the winner also said in some instances the Seretse team was campaigning while people were in the queue to cast their votes.
“There is so much more that was wrong with the elections as at some places names of the candidates were not there on the ballot papers save for Seretse’s name,” she said.
It was then that a movie script-like scenario occurred. Firstly Makwinja’s followers unveiled used ballot papers in a box placed in a dustbin within the counting centre at Kopong Junior Secondary School.
Other candidates who were not present to state whether or not they accepted the results
As if it were not enough, another stack of used ballot papers were discovered in a bag carried by one of the presiding officers from the Mmopane polling station. Seretse in a short interview with The Monitor said he always knew he would win. “I have been working hard in the constituency and expected this. As for those who do not accept the results, it’s just that they are hurt now. I trust they will accept the defeat so we can work together for the sake of our party,” he said.
Seretse first won the constituency in 2014 against Moeng Pheto, the man he defeated at the BDP primary elections. Pheto quit the party and stood as an independent candidate in 2014 alleging that Seretse had cheated.
Contacted for comment, BDP Elections Board chairperson, Peter Siele said they are yet to get a full report.
“The returning officer gave us an incomplete report on the constituency and we have since sent him back to compile a proper one which we expect to have on Monday morning,” he said.
Siele said they had received a complaint from Makwinja and sent her back to reconcile her report with the returning officer.