Gaborone North has made history by registering the highest number of voters within the city for the general election.
The constituency registered over 20, 369 voters which is the highest number since Botswana gained independence in 1966. The constituency has a population of 46, 434 people comprising six wards.
It is yet to be seen if the actual voters will exceed 16, 000 or more given the number that has so far registered. The five Gaborone constituencies have never had one of them voted by over 16, 000 people in previous elections.
The soaring voter registration could partly be explicable in terms of recent allegation that some politicians in the constituency have trafficked voters.
Meanwhile in 2009, 11, 223 registered to vote in the area and only 8, 473 voted while in 2014, 15, 153 registered but only 13, 004 voted.
Some of the politicians have been complaining about voter trafficking in the constituency.
The issue was given publicity by some local newspapers reflecting how some people are being transported to go and register in the constituency.
However some constituencies in Gaborone have registered low numbers of voters compared to 2014. For instance, in 2014, Gaborone Bonnington North registered 16, 625 voters while 2019 it only registered 14, 463. Bonnington South registered 13, 771 voters in the previous election and 2019 in registered 12, 437.
It is a normal occurrence that during elections the number of people who register usually fails to vote by 2, 000 or 1, 000 voters as reflected in IEC reports for Gaborone.
On the contrary, political analyst Leonard Sesa said; “ Unlike other constituencies, Gaborone North has its own problems which include water, unpaved internal roads amongst others.
That alone will make them to register to vote in large numbers because they pay most of their services. But on the issue of voters exceeding 17, 000, I think that one could be questionable.
Suburb areas, a family does not have members who are more than five. The issue of trafficking cannot be ruled out. It’s unfortunate situation where candidates are bringing people to come and make decisions for the area residents”.
Sesa said Gaborone North people want a candidate who could account to them.
On the issue of low registration, Sesa said other areas in the city want candidates who could encourage them to go and register.
He said at times the challenges are that some people move from one constituency to another whenever they buy houses or rent and that lead to reduction in the number of registered voters.
Sesa said the other factor that had discouraged people to register is the differences or infightings among political parties.
He continued; “ if political parties are failing to resolve their party primary elections on time, they end up affecting the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) registration. Again opposition failure to cooperate also discourages people from voting”.
2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS REGISTRATION 2014
Gabs North 20, 369 Gabs North 15, 153
Gabs Central 12, 793 Gabs Central 14, 086
Gabs South 14, 091 Gabs South 13, 534
Gabs Bonnington North 14, 463 Gabs Bonnington North 16, 625
Gabs Bonnington South 12, 437 Gabs Bonnington South 13, 771