IEC should do better

Botswana’s recent national election registration exercise, spanning from January 5 to February 3, 2024, has been concluded, heralding the upcoming general election slated for October 2024. However, amidst the anticipation, concerns loom regarding the preparedness and efficacy of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)

One alarming observation is the apparent lack of readiness shown by the IEC. Despite the infrequent occurrence of general elections — once every five years — the Commission’s readiness appears questionable. The decision to employ civil servants as registration officers instead of engaging the previously engaged unemployed populace raises eyebrows and begs the question: Why the deviation from past practices?

Moreover, security lapses during the registration process have sparked unease. While security personnel were deployed to safeguard registration tents and furniture, the oversight in protecting registration books proved costly, exemplified by the regrettable incident at Marobela village where registration books were stolen. The glaring inconsistency in prioritising security measures demands scrutiny. If the sanctity of the electoral process warrants the exclusion of opposition observers, as evidenced by the IEC’s vigorous legal battles against the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change’s desire to observe registration, why does the safeguarding of registration books not receive equal attention?

Editor's Comment
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