A year after the Botswana 2014


A year ago, with election fever gripping the country, and conscious of Botswana’s sound democratic principles and wanting to experience and test them, I left my house in Gaborone at 05:00 so I could be at the opening of a polling station in Lobatse.

What immediately struck me was the long queue of citizens, women and men, from all social backgrounds and ages, patiently waiting to act on their electoral right. All were smartly dressed and waiting patiently, chatting away to each other. Once they had voted, they resumed their conversations – it was a social day out for them as much as it was their civic duty to vote. Helping set the calm atmosphere were the local and international observers. There was almost an opening ceremony to proceedings when the Independent Electoral Commission staff opened and showed the empty ballot box to everyone just before the official opening.

I had decided to go outside Gaborone to check the pulse of the nation beyond the capital and spent the day with Anney Aves (my PA) driving around Lobatse, Goodhope and Hebron. This seemed to me to be a good mix of urban, semi-urban and rural areas. We stopped for a late picnic breakfast under a tree having made sure there was no one around for miles.  Within minutes, we were giving some of our snacks away. The day sped by and ended with us watching the count unfold back at Lobatse (after an excellent dinner at the Cumberland Hotel). I got back home at 23:00. Tired but enthused and exhilarated. We did not have an official observation mandate which meant there was no report to write, but we were officially invited to observe proceedings as were our other diplomatic colleagues. We coordinated our activities and covered more than 20 constituencies.  This gave us a good idea how the electoral process was conducted, from voting to counting and the announcement of the results.

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence!

We are 56 years old and what do we have to show for it? Looking at where Botswana started and where it is today, there are a lot of developments, but whether the developments match the number of years we have enjoyed as a country is a topic for another day.The fact that cannot be denied is we have seen major developments, but we are still lacking in several pertinent areas.Our beautiful country imports almost everything. We import fuel, food,...

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