Saturday, February 27, 2021

BDP to hear Bolele, Mogami appeals

The fate of Mahalapye West Member of Parliament who lost a primary elections re-run Bernard Bolele will be decided this week following a special committee appointed by the by the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’ central committee. His appeal will be heard together with that of Kgomotso Mogami who lost a primary election re-run for Gaborone Central. . In an interview with the Sunday Standard, BDP executive secretary, Sechele Sechele said the special committee will hear the two appeals and make recommendations to the central committee to make a final decision. “The appeals will be heard on Tuesday,” he said. Bolele’s appeal comes after he lost to Joseph Molefhe in a re-run held two weeks ago. Bolele protested the results claiming fraud. In his protest letter to the returning officer, Dr Unity Dow, Bolele said, “… the voter’s roll has significantly changed from the one used on the 9th of November 2013 which is an instance of fraud. This was alerted to Mr Parks Tafa.” According to the BDP primary rules and regulations, any decision of the central committee is final and binding. That means any of the two parties who loses the appeal cannot appeal in any structure unless he challenges the validity of the decision in a courts of law. In the re-run, Molefhe got 2,079 votes while Bolele obtained 1534 votes. A lawyer who did not want to be named for fear of being seen to be meddling in BDP affairs said that, should Bolele lose the appeal, he has no one to blame but himself. “Remember all the contestants in the initial primary election accepted the results and congratulated Bolele. No appeal was lodged with respect to Mahalapye West constituency primary elections. Appeals were only lodged at ward level; clearly those appeals at ward level cannot automatically invalidate the results of the constituency elections. Bolele should have challenged that rerun, he sat on his rights, participated in an unlawful rerun, and therefore he cannot be heard complaining about the validity of the rerun.” During the run up to the rerun, former Vice president, Mompati Merafhe was fingered to be campaigning for Molefe. It was reported that Merafhe has not forgiven Bolele for challenging him in the past. In Gaborone Central, Reverend Rupert Hambira won the rerun with 293 votes while Mogami got 22O votes. In her protest letter Mogami alleged voter trafficking, irregular distribution of membership cards as well as duplicate membership cards being distributed to BDP members. She also accused Hambira of voting more than once.

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