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BNF in primary elections headache

With national elections nearing in 2019, the Botswana National Front (BNF) recently held primary elections for council and parliamentary hopefuls in different constituencies. 

From Molepolole BOPA reporter, Lindi Morwaeng reports that the incumbent Molepolole North MP, Mr Mohammed Khan will represent the party after winning  by 705 votes against his opponent, Mr Kaboyaone Sedimo’s 258 votes, with two council wards still outstanding. 

The weekend primary elections results were not conclusive as two wards out of seven, are yet to go back to the polls at a date to be communicated. 

Speaking to BOPA, returning officer, Ms Senwelo Kgotlaesele revealed that elections were called-off at Borakalalo ward after an eligible voter whose name did not appear in the voters roll tore apart the ballot boxes. 

Ms Senwelo said it was then decided that elections be suspended as the matter was reported to the police. 

In Boribamo East ward, she revealed that elections for council candidates were also canceled after it was discovered that one council candidate’s name did not appear on the ballot paper. 

However, other wards continued to vote amidst numerous complaints by eligible BNF members whose names were omitted from the voters roll. 

Ms Senwelo admitted challenges as a result of administrative and technical glitches at the party office. 

From Kanye, Mooketsi Mojalemotho reports that scores of BNF stalwarts, mostly early birds, were left in sixes and sevens when what promised to be a hotly contested June 30 Kanye South primary elections for prospective candidates to represent the party during 2019 general elections nearly disintegrated into absolute chaos with potential to disenfranchise members. 

Polling that was slated for Sir Seretse Khama day, did not take place due to late arrival of voters’ rolls and other fundamentals for balloting in Kanye. 

A consensus was reached during a swiftly arranged impromptu meeting between the election team and candidates  to reschedule the elections to the next day at 7am across the constituency. 

Majority of the polling stations would though only swing open their doors to electorates very late to the dismay of voters who had queued up and ready to cast their votes way before scheduled time. 

However, things took an ugly twist at numerous polling stations during the day, culminating in abrupt closure of some polling stations such as Maisantwa where elections for Marapalalo ward was to be conducted. 

The primary contention was that the voters roll that they were given during elections were devoid of the amendments they had agreed upon before during assessment prior to the primaries. 

Their fears, it seemed struck a chord with electorates whereby it was agreed that election process should end forthwith until all the corrections were made and fresh elections called. 

While the election team was busy trying to quell the fires that had erupted at Marapalalo and to also come up with solutions to the problem, yet another brawl ensued at Tsonyane village with voters from Lefoko, Seherelela and others cells that make up Tsonyane Council ward blatantly refused to be ferried to Tsonyane to cast their votes as per the wishes of the team which supervised the elections. 

“Why can’t we be accorded the opportunity to cast our votes at our places of abode as has been the custom,” asked some voters who by now were milling about in front of one of the classrooms that were to be used to conduct elections. 

However, returning officer for Kanye South, Mr Thato Sejabodile told BOPA that the election process had started well save for a few hiccups at Maisantwa and Tsonyane. 

“Contrary to our knowledge from headquarters, the constituency election committee had arranged for different cells that make-up Tsonyane to have their own polling centres, and trying to convince electorates and candidates to converge to Tsonyane, which is central, is not bearing fruits. 

As it is, our manpower is over-stretched but like I said electorates do not budge,” he said as he and his team had thrown in the towel and proceeding to exit Tsonyane primary school premises. 

After a nerve-wrecking and emotion consuming counting exercise, which lasted until 11am on Monday, counting was conducted in earnest for the seven wards that did not attract a lot of controversy; namely Ruele, Lotlhakane East, Nyorosi East, Nyorosi Central, Selokolela/Sesu, Kgwakgwe and Mmatshitswane wards. 

In all the seven wards, incumbent MP, Mr Abram Kesupile got 468 votes against Mr Billy Phologolo’s 598. Two other parliamentary candidates, Messrs Osenotse Mabote and Tiroyaone Khuto amassed 265 and 525 votes respectively. 

The overall winner for parliamentary candidates will not be announced, pending logical conclusion of all impending issues which include written complaints by some disgruntled candidates. 

Earlier on, Mmatshitswane council ward results nearly brought counting to a halt, after discovery of 18 misplaced ballot papers that had the potential to change initial results; an issue which the party leadership had to grapple with and bring comprehensive finality to it. 

Meanwhile from Tsabong, Aobakwe Molefhi states that former permanent secretary in the then Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Micus Chimbombi will represent the Umbrella for Democratic Change in next year’s general elections in the Kgalagadi South constituency. 

He won the primary elections by 1 485 to 797 of former MP, Mr John Toto. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA Reporters


Event : Elections

Date : Jul 03 Tue,2018


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