Moseki challenges security of voter registration processes

FRANCISTOWN: Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Francistown East candidate, Morgan Moseki has challenged the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to assure him of the integrity of the voter registration officers.

What worries Moseki, who is also an attorney at law, is the provisions of section 4 (3) of the Electoral Act governing the registration process, which he says is prone to abuse and was abused in the past.

In a letter dated July 31, 2018, Moseki has threatened to take the election body to court in 14 days seeking to invalidate section 4 (3) of the Electoral Act if he is not assured that the registration process billed to commence in September this year, will be of utmost integrity.

Mmegi is also in possession of a three-page letter in which Moseki questioned the integrity of the voter registration process. Moseki has also confirmed authoring the letter, which he has routed to the IEC.

The letter was delivered at the IEC office in Francistown on Tuesday although it is directed at the IEC secretary Keireng Zuze.

The section under contention reads, “Registration officers shall execute and perform the powers and duties conferred upon them by this Act (Electoral Act) in accordance with such instructions as they may be given by the secretary”.

Moseki said that in the past, such instructions included the keeping of registration books in the custody of temporary and inexperienced registration officers throughout the registration process, which tempted some unscrupulous persons with the connivance of registration officers to do the act at night.

He added that the provision could not envisage a situation which would give rise to permitting registration officers to keep registration books in their custody at their homes for the entire duration of

the registration process, which runs counter to the running of a free and credible registration process.

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) activist also wants to be assured that the registration shall commence with a record reflecting the first registered voter ending with that of the last registered voter every day until the whole process is finalised in order to ensure credibility. “I also want to be assured that voter registration books shall not be kept in the custody of registration officers-at their residence as it was the case in the last and probably previous registrations but under lock and key in the elections office. Many are surprised that an issue so sensitive as an election process is conducted in such a cavalier manner.”

He added, “Furthermore, I want to be assured that the second and final voters’ rolls shall reflect in clear terms voters transferred in and out.

You will recall that in the past, only transfers out were reflected in rolls whilst transfers in were not.

This is a candidate for massive voter trafficking without anyone noticing”.

He added that because “the final roll does not give the opportunity to object it, this should only be the case if it does not contain new items such as transfers in which invariably are not easily detectable”.

Francistown IEC principal elections officer, Nyanga Nyanga said he was in a meeting in Gaborone when reached for comment while IEC spokesperson Osupile Maroba did not answer his phone. However, the letter from Moseki bears the IEC acknowledgement stamp.




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