- Says they still have witnesses for rigging stance
- People’s Court set for November 21st
- Analyst warns ‘People’s Court’ is parochial
Former speaker of the National Assembly, Dr. Margaret Nasha, has dismissed reports that opposition parties failed to pay some people to be witnesses before their much vaunted “People’s Court” that is now set for 21 November after it failed two weeks ago.
In fact, Nasha says, no witness was promised any payment for giving evidence to support opposition parties’ claims of rigging by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in last year’s general elections.
Nasha’s rebuttal comes after one Dikabelo Selaledi, who was among people lined up to give evidence backing these allegations, has somersaulted and now claims that the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) paid him to “lie” and that he is still owed some money for his role as a drilled witness.
“The evidence that he (Selaledi) gave was done when we were compiling statements that were to be submitted before the courts,” Nasha told journalists at a press conference in Gaborone earlier this week. “He was a part of that. He wrote a full statement which we believe should be shared with the public.
“Remember that he even signed and took an oath for that statement. It is interesting that what he is currently claiming and what he deposed in the affidavit are completely two contrasting views. There is no way he can demand any payment from us. If he was to demand any sort of payment, he should have long asked for it before he agreed to give the evidence.”
The UDC seems unfazed by Selaledi’s highly publicised about-face in which he spoke about he and others being feted and coached in a “war room” secured for the purpose at Game City Resort and Casino in South Africa where plans to stir political unrest in Botswana were also allegedly discussed. The party’s Secretary General, Moeti Mohwasa, has told this publication that a strategy is already in place on how to advance the matter forward after the People’s Court did not take place recently.
Meanwhile, political analyst Leonard Sesa says the opposition parties’ People’s Court is most likely to leave a serious dent on Botswana’s status as one of the most democratic countries on the African continent. “Politicians tend to look at their own interests,” Sesa said in an interview. “People forget about the country. They only want to expose Masisi. We should find a way to resolve our own internal problems. Why dent the democracy of the country? What about other generations to come?”
“Are we really saying things have gone worse in just two years? If we say that our democracy is really dead, then clearly we must also blame it on the people who are now in the opposition because surely it must have started a long time ago. We should also blame the very same people who are with the Botswana Patriotic Front and people like Mma Nasha because they were also a part of it.”