Tuesday, October 27, 2020

BNF claims BDP will use Molale, Kgosi to rig 2019 elections

The Botswana National Front  (BNF) on Monday said that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will use Presidential Affairs Minister Eric Molale and Director of Intelligence Security Services (DIS) Isaac Kgosi to rig the upcoming 2019 general elections.

Speaking at a media briefing Nelson Ramaotwana who represented the BNF at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) workshop recently said the BDP has two central figures who do as they please; being Molale and Kgosi. 

“Both own spy equipment for their personal benefit. Both are afraid of opposition taking over the reins of the State. Both cannot fathom a situation where they found themselves in the dock answering for their past misconduct,” said Ramaotwana.

He said MPs did not have the Bill nor consulted voters about it before it was tabled on certificate of urgency in the National Assembly none other than “Eric Molale, friend of Isaac Kgosi; both of them own spy equipment for the Botswana Defence Force.”

He added that “the electoral voting machine is their best bet. If it is their best bet, how can the electoral vote become their messiah?”

Ramaotwana explained thus; “according to a panel of prominent IT expert and scholars in India, the electoral voting machine can be manipulated to fix elections results. The designers of other rogue elements working for the DIS maybe roped in to create false microchip elements and fix them at the warehouse or prior to elections.”

Ramaotwana cited a paper titled “security analysis of India’s electronic voting machines” in which the authors stated that CPUs, circuit boards that contain microchips and ballot control units can be faked with look-alike to rig elections. “If the BDP insists on electronic voting machines, what should be the response of the opposition block?” he asked rhetorically.

“The panel of Indian experts suggested three ways of avoiding election fixing using the Election Voting Machine; namely the of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) ; precinct count optical scan (PCOS) and paper ballots,” said Ramaotwana.

Ramaotwana also suggested that the BNF must with other opposition parties and civil society groups pressurise the BDP to copy the best practice outlined by India’s Supreme Court. The court ruled that “…confidence of the voters in the electoral voting machines can be achieved only with the introduction of the paper trail. The electoral voting machine with VVPAT system ensures the accuracy of the accuracy of the voting system…”

He said the pressure can be mounted through mass action and court litigations; otherwise the opposition will lose elections fixed by electoral voting machines.

Ramaotwana said the workshop that was organised by IEC and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL)  recently to brief stakeholders about the EVM and how it works in India was fraudulent because “the presenters never mentioned a single disadvantage of the electoral voting machine yet there are countless disadvantages for the e-voting machines.”

According to Electoral Voting Machines were banned in four European countries; names Ireland (2004), Netherlands (2007), Paraguay (2008) and Germany (2009).

He recommended an amendment of the Electoral Act for purposing of inserting the following safeguards; that voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) be incorporated in the electoral voting machines;

That counting of votes be conducted at each polling station and results be transmitted to the counting centres after the candidates of their counting agents have appended their signatures conforming the authenticity of the results.

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The Telegraph October 28

Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 28, 2020.