Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has through a statement accused the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), of planning to steal elections.
In a statement released this morning, BCP spokesperson Mpho Pheko stated that the lime party has received reliable information that the BDP is planning to 'steal' the 2024 general election.
“The BCP has it on good and impeccable authority that plans to force through electronic voting machines (EVMs) are already at an advanced stage and a lot of ground work has been done. The idea behind bringing EVMs is to ensure that the BDP has total control over the electoral process, including all the codes and ability to hack and manipulate even the national identity or Omang database to deliver an Ill-gotten victory to a regime that is otherwise headed for near certain electoral defeat,” the statement reads.
According to the BCP, “the danger with EVMs is that all the electronic codes and capacity to rig would be in the hands of the BDP, a contestant in the elections. It is common cause that EVMs are known to be hackeable and prone to manipulation. The BDP is so advanced in its plan to rig the 2024 elections through EVMs and other mechanisms and has already ensured that the institutions set up to run the elections and adjudicate over any allegations of irregularity, corrupt practices and others, are run by its deployees so that no complaint, no matter how credible, succeeds. Just think for a moment on the quality of leadership at the IEC and the judiciary. It is all system go.”
“We believe it is up to Batswana to know about these plans in time and to stand ready to defend their right to vote and participate in free and fair elections."Young people must understand that they are a game changer. They must guard their vote by rejecting EVMs. We wish to take this opportunity, as early as now, to warn civil society and all the freedom loving Batswana to be vigilant and stand ready to defend democracy. We remind the BDP government that the government priorities should be on rebuilding the economy, fixing the broken education and health systems, facilitating job creation for the youth and fighting corruption,” she continued.
The BCP has vowed to do everything in their power to stop the BDP from rigging elections; “Every government must be founded on the free will of the people. We will therefore, use all lawful means to ensure that the will of the people is not frustrated.”
Efforts to reach the BDP were futile at the time of going to press. This however, is not the first time that talks of using the EVMs for conducting the electoral process surfaced in Botswana. Back in 2016, the BCP rushed to court over the use of the machines, and the matter would later be withdrawn.
In a statutory notice dated December 5, 2016 to the then IEC secretary Keireng Zuze, chairperson Justice Abednego Tafa and the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Eric Molale, the BCP wanted the court to declare “that the Electronic (Amendment) Act, Act No. 7 of 2016 is unconstitutional and violates Section 32 (2) (c) of the Constitution to the extent that it introduces voting by electronic machines and/or computers as opposed to the ballot paper.”