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Salakae petitions vote results as UDC members chase IEC truck

Gantsi District parked at the High Court. PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary hopeful for Gantsi North, Noah Salakae has petitioned the outcome of the constituency parliamentary results at the Gaborone High Court.

Salakae lost to the Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Johane Thiite by a margin of 176 votes.

There was drama on Wednesday when UDC members followed the Charles Hill Sub District Council truck, registration number B 305 AWA, all the way from Gantsi to Gaborone suspecting it carried “explosive elections rigging evidence”.

Suspicions came after Salakae spread rumours that an employee working as a cleaner at the Gantsi District Commissioner’s Office had discovered some ballot boxes inside the office toilet.

“In the District Commissioner’s [Mooketsi Lesetedi] toilet, which is situated in his office I found some boxes and these were five transparent boxes that contained the used voting ballots for the Botswana General Elections,” read the cleaner’s affidavit filed in court. 

After the truck arrived in Gaborone on Wednesday night and parked at Indaba Lodge, dozens of UDC members congregated at the Lodge demanding it to be opened.

Meanwhile, Salakae filed an urgent application at the Gaborone High Court calling on the police to seize the contents of the truck and place them in the

hands of the Registrar of the High Court for safekeeping.

Salakae also wanted the court to verify the alleged extra ballot boxes obtained from the DC’s office.

On Thursday morning the court ordered for the truck to be relocated from Indaba Lodge to the safety of the High Court premises.

As news spread of the suspicious truck parked at the High Court, multitudes of curious people gathered. Social media took the truck news to a heightened level with everyone taking their guess as to what could possibly be inside the truck.

However, many were left with eggs on their faces when it was revealed that the truck was ‘procedurally’ carrying Gantsi constituencies’ inventory and that it was being transported to the Gaborone High Court where it would be safely kept for six months. The inventory comprised sealed ballot boxes, ballot papers, voters’ roll, verification sheets, and other elections stationery.

UDC members then sealed the ballot boxes to be used in the Salakae petition slated for November 12, 2019 at the High Court.




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