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'Tsholetsa House' bays for Seretse’s blood

The chairperson of the Elections Board of the Botswana democratic Party (BDP), Peter Siele will address a meeting this afternoon in Mmopane regarding the primary election that was held in that constituency last week.

Speaking to Mmegi yesterday, Siele said he has invited all the candidates who contested in the election as well as the branch and regional committees.

He said it is at that meeting that he will share with those concerned a full report as well as the decision that they have taken as the election board.

The decision to call the meeting follows uncertainty regarding the official announcement of the results by the party which has not been made to date.  Earlier this week Siele sent candidates a message which partly reads: “Results for Mmopane/Lentsweletau has not been published because they are not consistent with the rules of conduct of Primary Elections. We will communicate with all candidates soon”.

According to the results that were announced at the counting centre, Kopong Secondary School, the incumbent MP, Vincent Seretse, received the highest number of votes at 1,514. He was followed by Nnanike Tebogo Makwinja with 1,469 votes and Chomie Letlole with 779 as distant third. The other four candidates scored less than 250 votes each.

Mmegi is reliably informed that even as the Party was doing the verification exercise of the results this week, the margin between Seretse and Makwinja was widening.

The fact that the party has not validated the results has caused some consternation among some in the constituency.

According to a party activist in Lentsweletau they are wondering why their constituency is being singled out when it is evident that there were problems in other constituencies as well.

The activist, who spoke on the basis of anonymity for fear of reprisal from the party, argues that precisely because some candidates in

other constituencies have lodged protests due to alleged irregularities in their respective constituencies shows that there were problems in other constituencies as well”. 

He said even with those problems their results have been announced. The practice in the Party, he said, is to announce the results, and if there are protestations, then the aggrieved persons would be given a hearing in due course, and a decision is made thereafter.

He says the Elections Board should not penalise candidates for their own incompetence. “They have all these elections officers who are not trained properly.

There are observers and supervisors who do not have a clue of what they are doing. And when they mess up they want to blame candidates,” he said.

According to a source close to the Central Committee of the party, some highly placed people including an influential member of the Central Committee, are targeting Seretse because they believe he is too close to the former President Ian Khama.

According to the source, one of the candidates in Lentsweletau/Mmopane - Chomie Letlole, who was one of the runners-up, works for the party Secretary General, Mpho Balopi's company. He believes that Letlole was sponsored to oust Seretse.

Letlole used to be Seretse’s right-hand man in the constituency as the Administrator in the Constituency office.  He said he would not be surprised if the Party decided to declare a re-run of the elections in anticipation that Seretse loses in the event of a two-horse race between him and Makwinja.

Balopi could not be reached for comment because he was reportedly traveling with the President on his visit to China.




Same Old News Again - SONA

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