- Set to join AP on Thursday
- 247 names missing from voters’ roll
- BNF ignores Court Order
- Three candidates had sought court intervention
Outspoken Marulamantsi councillor Sergeant ‘Yellowman’ Kgosietsile Kgosietsile announced his immediate resignation from the Botswana National Front (BNF) at a press conference on Monday. Although he refused to reveal where he is destined, choosing to only say he is joining a ‘‘progressive party’’, this publication has it on good authority that Kgosietsile and nine other members of the constituency branch committee are to be welcomed into the fold of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) this coming Thursday.
The BNF ignored grievances raised by outspoken Kgosietsile and other candidates in the Bonnington South Constituency. Despite the grievances the party proceeded to stage its primary elections before resolving the concerns raised by the candidates.
The Botswana Gazette is in possession of a series of letters written by Kgosietsile through his attorneys Gobhoza Legal Practice asking the BNF Secretariat to rectify anomalies in the voters’ roll before an election could be held for the constituency. Kgosietsile and other candidates approached the High Court to seek redress whereupon High Court Judge Justice Omphemetse Motumise ruled on August 21 that among others, the party shall avail to all the concerned parties the entire voters’ roll and respective ward and or constituency registers for the Mosekangwetsi, Morula and Marulamantsi wards in the Bonnington South Constituency on or before the end of business on 20 August 2018. The Order post dates the date of compliance by a full day, rendering the order impossible to fulfil. Kgosietsile’s lawyers did not subsequently seek clarity from the Court.
By agreement between the two opposing litigants Justice Motumise issued a consent Order that the concerned parties shall, in the event of any objection to any contents of the voters’ roll lodge their objection with the National Elections Board which shall determine each lodged objection and that the objections shall be lodged on or before the end of business on 27 August 2018. The court had ruled that the National Elections Board was obliged to issue a written determination of each lodged objection to both the complainant and the contesting party on or before the close of business on 28th August 2018.
However, according to a letter from Kgosietsile’s lawyers the National Elections Board did not fulfil the Court’s ruling in that they never responded to their client’s objection in writing as ordered by the court. Kgosietsile’s lawyers lodged a complaint on 27 August objecting to certain names in the voters roll. ‘‘Kindly be advised that in terms of the Court order of 22nd August 2018 (sic), your office was obligated to have responded, in writing, to all objections that would have been lodged by contesting parties’’, the lawyers reminded the BNF Elections Board in the letter.
The letter, dated 30th August, further reads, “However, in sheer disregard and contravention of such Court order, you have failed, up to the time of service of this letter to determine and respond in writing to our objection which was lodged on 27 August 2018’’. Two days later on September 1st, the BNF went ahead and staged primary elections before addressing the candidates’ concerns. This publication has been furnished with a list of at least 247 names that were apparently removed from the voters’ roll which Kgosietsile claims were mostly his known supporters.
The Bonnington South Constituency council primary elections pitted the BNF’s two factions with Kgosietsile’s faction said to be against Duma Boko’s leadership while the other team is said to be in support of Boko’s leadership. In his corner, Kgosietsile took the party to court together with Obusitse Montwedi who stood at Morula ward and Shatane Mugwana for Mosekangwetsi ward, even though the latter is said to have boycotted the weekend primary elections because their grievances had not been addressed.
The BNF was represented by Sekwenyane Legal Practice while Yandani Boko Law Firm represented Frank Giddie for Morula Ward, Moitlamo Raphane for Marulamantsi and Kagiso Tshekega for Mosekangwetsi ward.