Latest News

It seems jailed assets manager, Timothy Gordon Marsland of Capital Man...
With 30 criminal charges awaiting  him in Botswana, disgraced fou...
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has been allowed to file ...
While it is difficult for individuals to support their families due to...

Electoral offences continued

This week we run through more offences found in the Electoral Act. A person who at an election applies for a ballot paper in the name of another person whether that be that of a living, dead or fictitious person; or who having voted once at an election applies for a second ballot paper in his own name commits an offence called personation.

An offence of this nature is alleged to have happened before somewhere in Francistown. There is no record of a prosecution.

Any person who corruptly, directly or indirectly, pays for any entertainment, other than food or drink, in order to corruptly influence another person to vote or not to vote at an election, or to reward him for having  voted or not having voted at an election commits the offence of treating. Voters who corruptly accept such entertainment commit the same offence.

A person who directly or indirectly uses any force, violence, or restraint or inflicts or threatens to inflict spiritual harm to any person, in order to make them vote or not to vote, commits an offence called undue influence. The offence is committed, further, where by abduction, duress, or any fraudulent means, a person is prevented from voting freely and where one is unduly influenced either to vote in a particular way or not to vote at any election.

The offence of bribery targets any person who gives, lends, agrees to give or to lend, offers, promises or attempts to get any bribe to any person in order so as to induce them to vote or refrain from voting, or to corruptly reward them for having voted or not having voted. Bribery includes offers to find a voter employment or to give them office.

Any  person who makes any gift, loan, offer, promise, agreement to any person, in order to procure the return of any other person as a Member of the National Assembly or to obtain or attempt to obtain, the vote of any voter at any election, commits an offence. The same applies to any person who, having received a corrupt gift, delivers or attempts to deliver on the corrupt undertaking. A person who pays any money to any other person, with the intention that such money should be spent in bribery at any election, or who reimburses another person money expended in bribery at any election likewise commits an offence. It is important to note that a voter who before or during any election receives or agrees to receive any bribe for himself or for any other person, for voting or agreeing to vote or for not voting or agreeing not to vote at any such election commits an offence.

Under Section 95, any person who is guilty of a corrupt practice is liable to a fine not exceeding P400 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or to both.

Section 96 of

the Act, targets illegal expenditure and practices. It is a crime for any person, for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of a candidate at an election, to incur election expenses in respect of any matter or in any manner constituting an offence under any law. Further, it is a crime for any person to receive any payment or be a party to any contract for payment for the use of their premises for the exhibition of any address, bill, poster or notice concerning an election. Such a person shall be guilty of an offence called illegal practice. A specific exclusion is made with regards to payments made to advertising agents.

Section 97 prohibits unauthorised election expenses. Any person who without the express or implied authority of a candidate or his election agent, incurs election expenses in relation to that candidate, commits the offence of illegal practice. Under Section 81, it is an offence to exceed maximum expenditure. No person shall pay or incur election expenses in excess of the amount specified in section 81. Breach of this section constitutes the crime of illegal practice. A person who provides money for any payment which is prohibited by the Act, or for any election expenses in excess of the maximum amount is guilty of an offence.

No person shall, for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of a candidate at any election, engage or employ another person for payment or promise of payment to do anything for which election expenses may not be incurred. Any person who does that is guilty of an illegal practice. So is the person engaged for the illegal purpose.

Any person who corruptly induces or procures any other person to become a candidate at an election for payment or promise of any payment shall be guilty of an illegal practice. Any person who accepts to be a candidate for pay or promise of pay shall be guilty of the same offence. Any person who votes, induces or gets another person to vote at an election knowing that he, or that person, is prohibited from voting at that election, is guilty of an offence.

 Any person who, before or during an election, publishes a false statement of the illness, death or withdrawal of a candidate at that election for the purpose of promoting the election of another candidate, knowing that statement to be false, is guilty of an illegal practice.

Chief On Friday



DPP Botswana

Latest Frontpages

Todays Paper Todays Paper Todays Paper Todays Paper Todays Paper Todays Paper