BDP electoral board accused of election rigging

FRANCISTOWN: More members  of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) who lost in the first phase of the primary elections which were held during the weekend of November 16-17 are emerging and crying foul over the numbers of registered voters who did not vote at the recent primaries because their names did not appear on the voters roll.

They cited the missing names as the main factor that contributed to their losses. They are now seeking clarity on the motive behind the corrections that were made on the voters roll prior to the primary elections, which they believe were either not taken to the party head office for verification, or were taken to the head office but the verification was not done.

“This is shocking because the rolls are corrected at the lower party structures and from there all this is taken to the BDP head office to consider all corrections made.  These authorities at the head office failed to do this simple exercise just because they are doing this for the interest of some individuals. What we have learnt from the head office is that some individuals are working together with branches to plot the down fall of some candidates who are not wanted,” some of the candidates who lost the primaries lashed out.

They have started to doubt the credibility of the current BDP Central Committee, insisting that as the party leadership, they have to be at the forefront to make sure that the corrections made by branches are considered and verified the way they are supposed to. “That is why our complaints are always taken for granted because the leadership is involved in this election rigging,” they said.

Reached for comment, the Secretary for the BDP Electoral Board, Lee Lesetedi said that though they have heard about the problem from some protestors, the challenge they met during corrections was that many  of the names appeared in different wards. He refuted allegations of the leadership being involved in elections rigging saying that the Board worked tirelessly to make sure that all dealings  were  transparent.
“If we the Board finds that the name appears in different wards repeatedly, we make sure that it remains only in one ward. So I think it is upon the candidates to check where their voters have registered because if the names appear in several wards the system will expose that,” Lesetedi explained.