Saturday, September 23, 2023

BCP cries foul in Francistown West

Just days before the Francistown West constituency by elections, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has accused some members of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) of playing dirty tricks in the campaign.

The by by-election is scheduled for the coming weekend.

BCP secretary general, Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang told The Telegraph that some BDP members, particularly those aligned to Ignatius Moswaane, were confiscating voting cards from members of the public as a way of blocking them from voting.

He said they discovered these in their house-to-house campaigns on Monday in Bluetown and Tati and Tati Town.  He said the said BDP members were mostly targeting people on social welfare schemes.

“We are told these people are from Moswaane’s camp. They do not want people to vote. The problem is that these people whose voting cards have been taken are not revealing the names of those are taking their cards,” he said.

Gobotswang said Moswaane has been addressing rallies in the constituency and his attitude is that if his supporters want to vote, they should at least vote Botswana People Party (BPP) candidate as the BDP can easily snatch the constituency back in the October General Elections.

Gobotswang also said there is a general complacency in the constituency as more people seem to be confused about the coming elections. He blamed all the confusion on Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe’s decision to postpone the elections.

He said he doesn’t see many people going out to vote over the weekend. He also blamed the IEC for not being visible on the ground.

Efforts to obtain a comment from Moswaane were unsuccessful as his phone rang unanswered repeatedly.  

For his part, BPP campaign coordinator, Mbaakanyi Smart, said everything was well and smooth. He said there were issues in the past week in which BDP members wanted to cause havoc and confusion by making another petition in the last day of elections so that people can get more confused.

He said so far many BDP members have promised to vote for their candidate save for Monarch Ward which is a stronghold of Moswaane. Smart said they are making intensive campaigns in that ward and the reception is promising.

The Telegraph unsuccessfully tried to contact the other two Indepedent candidates to get their views. IEC public relations officer, Osupile Maroba said that the commission was ready to proceed with the elections. He said even before the proclamation postponing the elections, the commission was prepared so they just proceeded where they stopped last year.

Moswaane was barred by IEC from contesting the elections after there was a High Court order which prevented him from submitting his name for nomination.


Read this week's paper