Rebuttal -“Very disappointing emerging news has now clouded the country of Botswana as the first ever flawed election in the history of that country are emerging.”
The press release circulating on social media on the alleged “flawed elections in the history of Botswana” carries fabricated argument aimed to tarnish the image of the country and that of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The writer has no clue of the preparatory processes and associated requirements in the management of Botswana’s electoral process.
For instance, elections in Botswana are conducted in accordance with an established legal framework and leaves no room for discretionary decisions.
The final voters’ records are the same records inspected by the general public and given to political parties and candidates. These records ultimately mature into an election roll which is also given to all political parties and those buying it.
The diaspora and advance voting were conducted in the manner as prescribed in the law as was the case in 1999, 2004, 2009, and 2014.
Any party, candidate or stakeholder who had wished to observe or send polling agents for diaspora poll was free to do so.
On the 16th October 2019 presiding officers from diaspora polling stations delivered the ballot papers to the Commission at the IEC Head Office. Media, political parties and observers had been invited.
Proper verification process was undertaken and numbers shared openly with all present. It is therefore, an absurd assertion to say there was no reconciliation of votes and registered voters.
We want to put it on record that there is no other organisation, other than IEC, which is responsible for the conduct of the National Assembly and Local Government elections in the country.
Any such insinuations are a fallacy of first order and completely misleading. The mention of security organs and international observer personnel are meaningless imaginations.
The responsibility to ensure the safe custody of any election material lies with the IEC and would not compromise the security of election materials to appease indiscreet arguments.
There are other processes that allow transparency for anybody to satisfy himself or herself on how election material is secured.
The Election Management System allows a voter’s valid entry to appear in one polling station only. Any repeated entries are rejected and no one can use it to vote. The claim that a voter can vote twice is ludicrous.
Therefore it is advisable to those who wish to give a critique of the electoral process to read and acquaint themselves with the relevant electoral laws and process for a sensible engagement and conclusion.
Public Relations, IEC