Former Cabinet Minister, Daniel Kwelagobe, who also holds the distinction of being the longest servicing Botswana Democratic Party(BDP) secretary general, believes the envisaged use of Electronic Voting Machines(EVMs) is ill-adviced. DK, as he is popularly known, has been a Member of Parliament(MP) until 2014 when he lost Molepolole South to the Umbrella for Democratic Change(UDC). Currently an additional member of the party central committee, he is the past immediate chairman of the party.
“Elections are a very critical process of democarcy and each time when dealing with such processes, it is cardinal that there is proper consulation where you gather the views of the people. It does not help to consult when a decision has already been made and everything is cast in stone,” said Kwelagobe emphasising that what he is saying are his personal views. “I cannot understand what this reform is trying to remedy.
BDP primary elections register possibly more people than the Independent Electoral Commission(IEC) does for general elections. We are however able to run our primaries in one night,” noted Kwelagobe. The secret, he says, is firstly to increase the number of polling stations and also do the counting at the polling stations. “The IEC should do likewise because. This is possible because contesting parties and the IEC are represented at the polling stations,” he added.
Nor can he made sense of the cancellation of the supplimentary registration. “I cannot understand what motivated this amendment which I am told was done at night. The argument that it will close out voter traffiking is not sustainable because those determined to traffic will still do it during the general registration period,” observed Kwelagobe whose position is that the cancellation will only serve to disenfranchise people who failed to register not through a fault of their own. “Supplimentary registration gives such people a chance to register,” he observed.