Sunday, September 26, 2021

BCP candidates dragged to court

Botswana Congress Party (BCP) parliamentary and council candidates in the Lephephe-Letlhakeng constituency are to appear before the court on a date still to be announced for ‘registering through trafficking’.

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary candidate for the constituency, Gordon Mothoosele Mokgwathi has filed affidavits in which he is objecting and praying the Magistrate Court in Molepolole to, ‘ cancel and/or strike off’ Kebofentse Phetolo and Keanogile Mender Melao from the voters rolls at Serinane Primary School polling station.

“It is not just my intention to object before the court against the duo’s registration. I have gone through the whole process which entails filling forms and parting with some money as fees for lodging this complaint. You may contact someone from the council who delivered the letters to the respondents. Call him and find out how far he has gone with deliveries,” said Mokgwathi, adding that with affidavits filed he is awaiting the court dates to proceed with the case.

In the first affidavit whose Respondent is Kebofentse M. Phetolo, BCP parliamentary candidate for Letlhakeng- Lephephe it is indicated that; ‘Respondent who is a resident of Phokompe in the Takatokwane Constituency, is registered under the Electoral Act as a voter at the Kgesakwe Polling Station (Letlhakeng North Polling District, Letlhakeng-Lephephe constituency) whose number is 4442912 as shown on page 204 of the Voters Roll.”

“Given the above stated reasons I pray and ask the Court to cancel the Respondent’s registration at Kgesakwe Polling Station and/or strike the Respondent off the voters roll as per Electoral Act Cap. 02:09”

In the second affidavit whose respondent isKeanogile Mender Melao it is states that, “On October 2013, the Respondent who is a resident of Molehele Ward, in Sesung village registered as a voter at Molehele Polling Station, Letlhakeng North Polling District, Letlhakeng-Lephephe Constituency.

Respondent who is resident of Sesung village in Takatokwane Constituency, registered as a voter at SerinanePoling Station (Mantshwabisi Polling District, Letlhakeng-Lephephe constituency) whose number is 44939378 as shown on page 62 of the voters roll”

“Given the above stated reasons I pray and ask the court to cancel the Respondent’s registration at Serinane Primary School Polling station and/ or strike the Respondent off the voters roll as per Electoral Act Cap. 02:09” Everything else is the same as in the first affidavit.

Mokgwathi said the duo is very much aware of the fact that a candidate is forbidden by Electoral Act to register as voters in polling districts that are out of the constituencies for which they stand for office.

“When we tried to advise them they said we do not have money or lawyers to take them to courts of law. They know they are on the wrong side of the law,” he said.

Chief Elections Officer, Dintle Rapoo who said he was unaware of the pending case, however explained that unless the Act is amended, for which he has not confirmed; parliamentary candidates can stand for the elections everywhere in the country. Not necessarily in constituencies in which they resided or registered for elections.

As for the council candidate, he said council candidates, as defined by Section 15 of Local government Act; unless it is amended, can stand for office anywhere within the district council in which they reside.

He said this kind of case where a rival objects registration of fellow contenders in constituencies, other than those they reside in is the first he came to know of.

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