Items filtered by date: Monday, 06 August 2018 - Botswana Guardian
Monday, 06 August 2018 15:47

Gaolathe, Pilane meet for tête-à-tête

Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe this week met his counterpart from Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) for an “informal” discussion.

Information reaching this publication indicates that the meeting that was held at Falcon Crest on Tuesday night between Gaolathe and BMD leader Advocate Sidney Pilane was one of Gaolathe’s informal meetings with opposition leaders to establish a working relationship.

BMD Spokesperson Rasina Winfred Rasina confirmed the meeting but would not be drawn into discussing it further with the media. He said a press statement would be released to that effect. Gaolathe also confirmed the meeting adding that it is all part of an initiative to open dialogue channels with all political players regardless of “how we may feel about them”.

However, he said these discussions are informal and are no part of any systematic discussion about alliances. “Our message to all political players who wish to discuss formally and meaningfully with our movement is that we already have an established practice of recognising the original conveners as the rightful platform for any discussion,” he said.

Since its formation last year, AP has not come out clear as to when it will engage other parties. Instead it said that as a new party it was still building its structures. Last month Gaolathe revealed that he has been having informal talks with Botswana Congress Party (BCP) President Dumelang Saleshando and Botswana National Front (BNF) President Advocate Duma Boko and President of Botswana People’s Party (BPP) Motlatsi Molapisi.

All the three parties are contracting members of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). He indicated that he has not yet met Advocate Pilane but said he would do so soon.
AP broke away from BMD following a bloodbath elective congress in Bobonong last July. And ever since then the AP has maintained that it would not be part of a UDC which has Advocate Pilane or the BMD.

The argument was that such UDC would not be sharing the same ideology as the AP.

Gaolathe, who is also MP for Gaborone Bonnington South, pointed out that the conveners have proven to be trustworthy and credible. He said they can be trusted for their commitment to the aspiration of a collective and united voice for a new Botswana.
With the current divisions within the UDC which have pitted BMD and BPP against BNF and BCP, stakes could be high if BMD and BPP could get sympathy from AP.

The BPP and BMD together with old UDC conveners are now fighting in the same corner against BCP and BNF.

Published in News
Monday, 06 August 2018 15:40

Zimbabwe’s bloodbath election

Four people were confirmed dead and scores injured in the riots that erupted in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare on Wednesday following the announcement of the preliminary results of Monday’s harmonised election.
The fear, however, was that the figure could rise as tension remained palpable.

Botswana’s Members of Parliament Botlogile Tshireletso and Sedirwa Kgoroba had formed part of the delegation of SADC Election Observer Mission (SEOM) under the aegis of SADC-Parliamentary Forum.

Holed in her hotel in Harare, Tshireletso told Botswana Guardian in a telephone interview that election observers gathered at the Harare International Convention Centre had to be whisked away to safety through the back by police escort to escape angry protestors gathered outside and baying for their blood.

Botswana’s High Commissioner to Zimbabwe General Matshwenyego Fischer also confirmed on Wednesday in a telephone interview that all Batswana working at the High Commission were safe. The envoy said he had also joined the briefing by observer mission at the convention centre to hear their respective findings when he was alerted by his driver of the demonstrations outside.

“We then left the place to our respective homes where we are following proceedings and what is taking place on television,” Fischer said. But the Local Government and Rural Development Assistant Minister’s account of the events was more dramatic.

Tshireletso, who had observed the election in Mashonaland West as team leader, said just after finishing their announcements at the convention centre, they were informed that there were protestors gathering outside and that they intended to block the election observers inside.

“We were escorted to use the back, but still our police escort was forced to use different routes and ultimately managed to take us to the hotel safely. The situation was unpleasant!” And indeed it was.
Video footages have captured soldiers shooting live bullets at the protestors, most of which are believed to belong to Nelson Chamisa’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) coalition. 

All African Observer missions declared the Zimbabwe electionfree and fair while European Union (EU) held a contrary view. A preliminary report of SADC Election Observer Mission (SEOM) released on Wednesday gave Emmerson Mnangangwa’s ZANU PF 146 MPs against MDC’s 62.

During the press conference, the chairman of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) briefed the observer missions that he already had the results but could not announce them as some of the candidates wanted to first verify them. Although the constitution states that the results can be released within four days, he had intended to release them on Wednesday.

This announcement triggered the riots. While Tshireletso maintained that the SADCP findings were that the election was free and fair, the mood on the ground told a different story. So bad was it that she said other election observers were forced to buy flight tickets to return to their respective countries on Wednesday.

 “We are coming back home tomorrow (Thursday),” she said with a quivering voice. 

Areas of improvement
Tshireletso said they had noticed some areas that require improvement. These include improving the communication strategy to make it more transparent and allowing all stakeholders to know who is printing the ballot papers and where they are kept after being printed ve the number of women candidates in line with the SADC quota of 30 percent. In that election Zimbabwe had two women presidential candidates, 240 aspirants for Parliament out of the 1631 MPs and only 1132 candidates for local government out of a total 6576 candidates.

However, SADC PF praised Zimbabwe for a nomination quota reserved for women depending on the performance of their respective parties.
They were also pleased with voter education which in their view was good as evidenced by the turnover at the polling stations with the majority being youth or relatively young people.

SADC PF also noticed that the electoral officers were sufficiently trained on time and prepared to man the polling stations and had enough manpower that were ready to assist at all times.

There were also specific lines reserved for pregnant women, elders, disabled and those with young babies.  There was also a Multi Party Liaison Committee composed of all parties and voters were allowed to use either passport or ID and there was no wastage of materials as none was returned home.

In its draft statement, the SADC Electoral Observer Mission stated that the harmonised election of July 30, 2018 represents “a political watershed” in Zimbabwe’s history as they “open a new chapter” leading towards socio economic recovery and consolidation of democracy.

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Alliance for Progressives (AP) Chairman Maj. Gen Pius Mokgware has revealed that he will be working with Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) councillors in the coming 2019 general election to retain Gabane-Mankgodi constituency.

Mokgware, who is Gabane-Mankgodi Member of Parliament, stated this week that the Councillors are very hard working and he is prepared to work with them. He encouraged electorates to vote for them in next year’s polls. Gabane-Mankgodi has ten (10) Wards.

AP has one (1) ward - Gabane South West. UDC has five wards. Contracting partners Botswana National Front has three (3) - Tsolamosese, Gabane North West and Gabane South East while Botswana Congress Party has one (1)- Gabane North East and Botswana Movement for Democracy has one (1)- Diagane commonly known as Mogoditshane Block 9. The ruling Botswana Democratic Party has four being Mankgodi South and North, Metsimotlhabe and Lesirane.

Mokgware told a press conference at his office in Gabane village this week that he has a good relationship with the UDC councillors and he is prepared to join forces with them next year. He said the intention is to ensure that the BDP does not win the constituency.
According to Mokgware as it has been his party’s stance, he also believes in opposition unity. The Gabane-Mankgodi MP expressed confidence that the AP will be working with UDC in 2019.

“I am confident that we would be working together in 2019. We believe in opposition unity as AP. Even though there is a party position, as an individual my position is that having worked with these councillors and the relationship having been healthy, we would have to work together for 2019.

“We need each other and I would not see anything wrong in endorsing them. We would definitely work with other like-minded opposition parties. Even though I cannot tell you what type of model we would use, I am confident that we would be together,” Mokgware stated.

However, some of the UDC councillors questioned the motive rea MP. “I do not totally agree with the MP. It has to be clear that we are speaking the same language. I mean how can he be saying he would be working with us while he has AP council candidates in our wards. We have made it clear to him that we need him at the UDC and will not support him while he is at AP and having council candidates who will battle with us next year. Do you think he would betray his own party to have us elected?” asked one of the councillors who attended the press conference.

Gabane-Mankgodi constituency has been allocated the troubled BMD within the UDC. The orange movement has since failed to find a candidate for the constituency. BNF and the BCP have since taken war to BMD during their recent conference where they expressed interest in constituencies allocated to the BMD.

Last month AP President Ndaba Gaolathe revealed that he has been having informal talks with BCP President Dumelang Saleshando and BNF President Advocate Duma Boko and President of Botswana People’s Party (BPP) Motlatsi Molapisi. AP is a breakaway party of the BMD following a bloodbath elective congress in Bobonong last July.

Gaolathe stated that opposition cooperation should not only come in the form of UDC. He said there are other models that could be pursued. “It is a fallacy to think coalition should be in the form of UDC. Coalition should have a certain characteristic and its foundation should be strong. If there are to be structured discussions they would not have to take a form of the UDC.

“We have not set a timeline as to when we would conclude any talks. Of course our informal chats would lead to formal conversation. As AP we believe to kick-start everything in the right direction we would need the original conveners of coalition. Circumstances force us to work together,” Gaolathe revealed.

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As Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) conducts its last batch of Bulela-Ditswe next week it has emerged that women running for parliament might not survive the political storm, Botswana Guardian can reveal.

Unlike other political parties, BDP has no waiver for women and vulnerable people when it comes to contesting for political office. Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leads the pack in its affirmative action on empowering women for political office followed by the Botswana National Front (BNF).

Botswana has signed the SADC Protocol on gender equality, but the BDP government has made little effort to advance women to positions of political leadership. Under the leadership of BDP, Botswana has also not even met the minimum quota set out in the Protocol.
A careful scrutiny of parliamentary candidates by this publication has shown that Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Dorcas Makgato tops the charts of those who will make it back to parliament.

She will be up against Specially Elected Councillor Kitso Seloma for Sefhare-Ramokgonami constituency where she will be defending the seat.
Another possible survivor could be Kgalagadi North runner Talita Monnakgotla who is taking head-on area MP Itumeleng Edson Moipisi. Moipisi is also Assistant Minister of Land Management Water and Sanitation Services.

Monnakgotla, an entrepreneur, has made strides in the constituency winning the hearts of many while Moipisi was busy with government business as assistant minister.
Through her business she runs with her husband AT&T Monnakgotla she has been sponsoring school prize giving ceremonies at a tune of P4000. AT&T Monnakgotla also strives to create opportunities to help lift Kgalagadi youngsters out of poverty.

The company is also sponsoring an annual July football tournament for Kgalagadi and Gantsi known as KGAGA President’s Day Tournament which seeks to improve talent of the children in those areas so that they could compete with their peers across the country.

Monnakgotla is expected to bring hope to BDP women as the strong women of the BDP Botlogile Tshireletso and Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi are not contesting and have decided to hang their political boots. This development is likely to adversely impact the party that has been in power for over 50 years and preaches women empowerment while it has dismally failed within its internal development to at least have 30 percent of women making it to parliament.

As for Makgato, she has proven to be a force to reckon with ever since she made her mark in politics after leaving the corporate world. When she first contested during the 2013 Bulela-Ditswe she caused uproar when she sent a pool of men scurrying including the then area MP and Agriculture Minister, Oreeditse Molebatsi.

At that time Makgato was Specially Elected MP and Trade and Industry Minister.
Makgato cemented her power base within the BDP in 2015 when she was elected BDP Women’s Wing Chairperson in Lobatse. It was at the same elective congress where BDP women called for their increased participation in positions of leadership, decision-making and political offices so they could compete well with their male counterparts from primary to national elections.

She is the first women’s wing leader to have the BDP hold a general assembly of women from the 2nd to 4th of December 2016. The aim of the assembly was to create a forum for BDP women to discuss issues of concern in their empowerment. Makgato had explained that the general assembly is one of the commitments the women’s wing made upon assuming office in 2015 to create additional organisational structures at national level to ensure BDP women engage more regularly on issues of concern.

She was last year re-elected unopposed when the women met in Maun for the elective congress. At the constituency Makgato is said to have ensured that she takes onboard all the council candidates to work with her. She has also set up a campaign team to focus strictly on parliamentary campaign. News on the ground is that she will have an easy walk against Seloma.

Other women in some of the constituencies will face obstacles against their male counterparts some of whom have established themselves within the constituencies. The BDP has indicated that it believes in democracy and wants women to go through the same process as their male counterparts to gain confidence from voters for political office. The party has indicated that empowering women does not mean giving them a free ride.

Botswana is still far behind in getting higher numbers of women to occupy positions of leadership despite being hailed as a good example of democracy. Other countries in Africa such as Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are far ahead in terms of representation in parliament and cabinet.

Government has been condemned by the opposition for this indicating that some of the countries are now close to attaining the 50 percent mark while Botswana is nowhere close to even 30 percent. According to the opposition, this shows that the BDP government lacks commitment to women empowerment hence its reluctance to implement the Protocol.

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Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) factional wars in the build-up to 2015 Elective General Congress have resurfaced ahead of this year’s elective congress in December.

The 2015 congress that ushered in the current leadership being National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Office Bearers (NOB) was marred by controversy. The controversy is once again playing out in the open as divisions within the leadership became apparent at the past weekend meeting which resulted in suspensions of some members including President Masego Mogwera and counter suspensions of other members by Mogwera.

Sources say the bitter war emanates from jostling as factions position themselves for the congress where they will go head to head in a battle for control of the union.
In a heated meeting which resulted in some members of the NEC walking out, the committee resolved to suspend five of its office bearers being Mogwera, first deputy president Martin Gabobake, General Secretary Topias Marenga, Deputy Secretary Kethapeleng Karabo and Treasurer General Aba Gabaikhe for failure to observe Articles 53.1 and 53.2 respectively.

The articles speak of secondment and remuneration of office bearers (president and treasurer general) as well as sanctioning the implementation of the new BOPEU structure. The NEC has since resolved to appoint Philemon Zibani as the interim president, Ogaufi Masame as First Deputy President and Mosalagae Tlhako as Treasurer General pending investigations. Mogwera’s team has also in turn declared a state of emergency and suspended Zibani and crew.

Zibani has however indicated that they could not be suspended by people who are on suspension. A stalemate has been reached by the two groups over who is at the helm of the union- a stalemate which even the police failed to break. This resulted in Zibani’s team on Tuesday night serving their colleagues with court papers in which they want a court order removing them from office.

According to sources, the power struggle started when a consultant was engaged to review BOPEU’s organisational structure. Mogwera and team are accused of implementing the secondment of the president and treasurer general without approval of NEC and implementing a new pay structure which is now a centre of controversy following a decision taken to reverse the pay structure.

The reversal comes after eight months of implementation. Botswana Guardian has it on good authority that last week some employees received letters stating that their salaries would be reversed to the ones used before the implementation of the new structure in November last year. The employees are now contemplating taking BOPEU to court over the matter.

Mogwera has maintained that they are aware of attempts to remove them from office and replace them with yes men and women to frustrate efforts by her committee to recover BOPEU assets. She said there are outside forces that want to interfere in their fight against financial impropriety and corruption at the union of choice as BOPEU is affectionately known.

It remains to be seen how things will play out in the build-up to the Palapye congress. Zibani’s team is said to be prepared and hell-bent on removing Mogwera’s team from office come December. The team alleges there has been embezzlement of the union funds and stalling of the release of the forensic audit which was sanctioned about eight months ago. They have also taken war to the current treasurer general for allegedly failing to produce audited financial report.

Mogwera became BOPEU President after the then President Andrew Motsamai resigned to join Babereki Investment, the BOPEU business arm as Executive Chairman. He was later relieved of his duties on allegations of misappropriation of funds.
Motsamai beat his former Vice President Sikalesele Seitiso in a tightly contested election, garnering 220 votes against 146 during the 2015 Palapye congress. Mogwera was voted First Vice President getting 220 votes against Tlotlang Bakoko who got 145 votes.

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Balete of Gabane-Mankgodi are planning to escalate their displeasure with Mogoditshane sub-landboard to President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

The residents complain that the sub-landboard together with Kweneng landboard are taking them for granted by refusing to allocate them plots for many years. The other contention is the compensation for repossession of land which is done as per the 2010 Land Compensation Policy which they say is outdated and they are being robbed.

Area Member of Parliament Maj. Gen Pius Mokgware said they have been engaging the landboards and ministry of Land Management and Water Sanitation on their grievances with no success. The MP explained that as per the 2012 population statistics Gabane-Mankgodi is the most populated constituency in the country standing at 48 287 people.

“With such a number there are no developments here but we have land. It is only that because of corruption in our landboards the land is not used properly.
We do not have a senior secondary school, a primary hospital, sewerage line but we are just next to the capital city. We do not have commercial and industrial plots because of the way our constituency has been demarcated.

It was made in such a way that it would be just for residential. But even with those residential plots people take over 23 years to be allocated,” stated Mokgware during a media briefing this week.
The legislator said the constituency has been neglected for years when it comes to land administration. He revealed that according to information from Mogoditshane Sub Landboard  the waiting list for people who have applied for residential plots in his constituency stands at 140 000.

“As we speak the landboard has stopped receiving applications for residential plots,” said Mokgware adding that currently people who applied in 1994 are the ones being allocated plots. The constituency consists of villages of Gabane, Metsimotlhabe, Tloaneng, Diagane (Mogoditshane Block 9), Tsolamosese, Lesirane and Mankgodi.

He said they have engaged former Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Prince Maele over the land issues but have not got satisfying answers. This is why they now want president Masisi to intervene. According to Mokgware they have set up a committee to work with the landboard and the ministry for better administration of land in their area but there is no progress.

The MP indicated that they also made suggestions to Maele when he addressed a Kgotla meeting. “Our concern is the current Land Policy. The policy states that government has to service the land before allocation but what we know is that there is no money to do such. Under the current National Development Plan 11 Gabane-Mankgodi has not been catered for in terms of land servicing.

“So people who have spent over 23 years waiting to be allocated plots would have to wait for another additional six (6) years for another plan to be crafted. Now we have these policies and pieces of legislations that are not speaking to each other. Youth projects are failing because there is no land allocation. What the landboards are doing is what is fueling the increase of land speculators in our area.

“We have the landboard refusing to compensate at market rate but would give you less than P25 000 for a ploughing field and would allocate plots to people who would in turn sell a plot at P230 000,” Mokgware said.
He revealed that Gabane-Mankgodi community no longer wants to be given monetary compensation.

He said all they want is for the owner of the land to get 30 percent of the land while government takes 70 percent of the repossessed land. The community wants government to review the current land policy as it disadvantages them. “The people of this constituency are very hurt,” Mokgware explained. He said compensation has to be reasonable so that land owners especially those whom landboard is taking their ploughing fields, would not feel robbed.

A member of the committee that was set-up to negotiate with government on behalf of the community Lucas Tshukudu explained that they have sought audience with land minister and Vice President Slumber Tsogwane to no avail. Tshukudu stated that the landboard has expressed interest in the ploughing fields in Gaphatshwa, Rabodibana and Diremogolo among others.

“We have set up this committee because we want the government to meet us half-way. People have to understand that we are not refusing with land but we are saying let the compensation be adequate. We once had a meeting with the landboard in 2016 where we put forward our demands of 30 percent to be reserved for landowner when repossession is being made. We are still waiting for their response to this day.

“If the landboard is considerate it would meet us half-way. I applied for land in 1996 when I was 21 years old and today I am still on the waiting list. My reference numbers have changed three (3) times. Our land management system has to be changed so that we are not disadvantaged,” pointed out Tshukudu.

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Property magnate Sayed Jamali says what he has for people of Tlokweng is just love and appreciation and nothing sinister as some people want to portray him.

Jamali is battling accusations from various quarters that he is illegally taking land from Batlokwa and undertaking developments in Tlokweng without following proper procedure. In an interview with Botswana Guardian this week Jamali said people are twisting issues with the intention of tarnishing his name.

“I am not the enemy here. All I want to do is to develop Tlokweng because people of Tlokweng have accepted me as one of their own for the past 40 years I have been here. This is why when I think of any development I think Tlokweng and no other area. Tlokweng is my home and I will continue to bring developments to the area to benefit this beautiful community,” said Jamali on Wednesday.

The soft-spoken businessman explained that the recent outburst by some people regarding the construction of a road and bridge that connects Gaborone with Tlokweng was stirred by people who do not know what is going on. He also dismissed recent media reports that due diligence was not done when undertaking the project.

“Everything was followed to the letter. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report has been submitted to Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conversation and Tourism. The delay for the construction of the road and the bridge was due to the fact that Kgosi Puso Gaborone had taken some time to call a public hearing regarding the construction.

“The public hearing finally took place after 9 months and was chaired by Kgosi Kgolo. There have also been adverts on newspapers and notice boards as a way of engaging stakeholders in the matter. Department of Roads, Gaborone City Council (GCC), South East District Council (SEDC) and Tlokweng Landboard are all aware of the project,” said Jamali pulling out a file of documents to back his story.

The project is expected to cost Jamali between P10 million and P20 million. He said he had earlier wanted to construct the road which is 2.4 km and the bridge under Public Private Partnership (PPP) but could not manage as the Department of Local Government and Technical Services referred him to SEDC. The ministry of local government expressed appreciation for Jamali’s initiative in a letter dated December 15th 2015 but indicated that such a proposal should be submitted to the SEDC.

“I had wanted to engage in a PPP initiative so that I could recover the money and build other developments, which is why when this failed I proposed for toll-gates so that revenue could be realised and be used for other projects. The toll-gates initiative also failed which is why I decided to go solo on the project and help Batlokwa.

“This road which connects Gaborone and Tlokweng via University of Botswana will reduce traffic congestion into and out of Tlokweng. People would have alternative routes rather than flock one road in the morning and in the evening,” he said. Although it had rejected the PPP model and opted for public tender, SEDC expressed gratitude for Jamali’s gesture.

During a meeting of July 20th, 2017 at Notwane Primary School in Gaborone, it was indicated that the proposal for the construction is done as corporate social responsibility initiative. It was to coincide with the company (Universal Builders Botswana)’s 35 years of existence in Botswana. According to Jamali he had wanted the construction completed and handed to government before Botswana celebrated 50th independence Anniversary.

According to the minutes of the meeting, the project included a bridge, connection of roads between the proposed bridge to the existing Tlokweng road network and existing road near UB Academic Hospital (from Maru-a-Pula). Gaborone City Development Plan 1997-2021 also states that, “a road link between Broadhurst and Tlokweng should be constructed. The proposed alignment should be from the ‘T’ intersection on Limpopo road opposite Motshaba close.

Its direction should be towards the Gaborone Game Reserve.
“Thereafter, the alignment should change in the direction between Game Reserve and Lot 61298. At the end of the Game Reserve boundary, that the alignment changes into the corridor between Village BDF and Game Reserve boundary. This is intended to improve the problematic east to west network observed during the report of the survey.”

Tlokweng Development Plan 2001-2025 also indicates that there is a poor link between the Northern part of Tlokweng and Gaborone as well as settlements to the North. It further states that also missing is a by-pass road for through road traffic which needs to necessarily pass through Tlokweng built- up area.

It is in this regard that Jamali thought he could assist. Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Conservation and Tourism has since given Jamali’s company Universal Builders Botswana a go-ahead to start site establishment, temporary access road and other preconstruction activities.
According to the letter dated June 13th 2018, the company is allowed to start such activities whilst awaiting the EIA authorisation. “You are therefore permitted to undertake

vegetation clearance, setting of offices and storage areas including electricity and water connection, preparation of temporary access and surveying and installation of pegs. Actual construction of the bridge shall commence after the approval of EIA.” Tlokweng Landboard also held a meeting on the 23th of July 2018 to discuss progress on the ongoing project according to a letter dated 18th July 2018.

Jamali revealed that this is one of the many projects he intends to bring to Tlokweng.
He said he wants to build a mini hospital as he did with the stadium. He explained that he is also engaging in an expensive agricultural project of green technology.
“I have started with Moringa and have told the neighbourhood at the farm to prepare their land for Moringa.

The Agricultural facility we are putting up will be used to teach Batlokwa about agricultural green technology which will benefit the community a lot and create jobs. That is what I want for Tlokweng to create jobs for the community,” he said.

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Stakes are high at Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Gaborone South constituency as Bulela-Ditswe date draws nearer with fears that the election will be compromised.

Botswana Guardian has established that all is not well in the constituency as the voters’ roll is being contested by some candidates on grounds that there has been voter trafficking. News of trafficking broke out this week when verification was being done.
The two camps of Monametsi Abel Kalayamotho and Dumizweni Meshack Mthimkhulu, who are both vying for the Parliamentary seat, have for some time been at crossroads.

This has now affected the council candidates aligned to them. Information gathered by this publication is that two letters complaining of voter trafficking have so far been written.

“The election might not happen because some of the candidates are disgruntled and want the election for Gaborone South to be postponed. There are also claims that some of the people who have been registered do not appear in the voters’ roll,” said a source close to the developments.

This publication has it on good authority that members of Political Education and Electoral Committee (PEEC) tried to intervene on Monday this week with the aim of putting the matter to rest. It has since emerged that some of the candidates and their teams would not compromise and get along to participate in the elections. PEEC is expected to make its decision on the matter this week.

Some members are said to have called for recovery of all the books that were used during registration so that names could be cross-checked. However, the unfortunate part is that the former Branch Secretary, with whom the books were kept, passed away recently. Thus it has proved hard to have the books recovered. The PEEC meeting in the constituency follows another one which was held by Central Committee member Tebogo Masire last week.

During the meeting which was a pre-counselling for candidates, Masire appealed for calm and peace during campaigns. He implored the candidates to work together during this internal process so that at the end the BDP would be able to defend the constituency as a united force. He encouraged the candidates to reconcile following their recent complaints against each other regarding campaigns.

Gaborone South Branch Chairman Alfred Moatlhaping confirmed the complaints but stated that there is no how elections would not continue. He said what was missing was the master registration book.

“I have gone to the party office to look for the copy of the master registration book. I have managed to locate registration books which we would annex and avail to the candidates. I have the situation under control and everything will fall into place. We are going to the polls like other constituencies next week,” Moatlhaping pointed out.

Between April and June this year the two camps were firing from all cylinders in a bid to have one of the candidates fall during vetting. At the centre of controversy were accusations from both camps of campaigning before time. Letters flew from one office to the other as the smear campaign by both teams intensified.

Mthimkhulu’s team has written letters to BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi complaining that Kalayamotho, who transferred his membership from Gaborone Bonnington North to Gaborone South, engaged in early campaign by hosting activities at Old Naledi and branding and distributing t-shirts to constituents with the aim of luring them to vote for him in August this year. Letters seen by this publication also questioned Kalayamotho’s membership transfer.

The complainants say the transfer was done under dubious circumstances. An Entrepreneurship Summit which Kalayamotho hosted at Old Naledi and Bontleng Halls on the 17 May 2018 to reach out to the unemployed has also been cited as one of his campaign tactics for votes. He is said to have resorted to use such a stunt because he arrived in the constituency late and is only using his financial muscle to buy popularity.

Kalayamotho’s team has hit back and written to Branch Committee accusing Mthimkhuku’s team of applying underhand tactics to canvass for votes. Mthimkulu’s team is said to campaign by organising activities such as soccer tournaments and buying alcohol for constituents in exchange for them to register so as to vote for Mthimkhulu. It is also alleged that a WhatsApp Group page has been opened which is used for campaigning - a platform the BDP has indicated should not be used.

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