Sunday, October 25, 2020

BPP says IEC didn’t invite it on India trip

Notwithstanding its self-proclaimed allure and superior knowledge of non-codified laws of physical attraction, the Botswana People’s Party (BPP) may find that it is actually not entrancing enough to cause suitors from at least one government department to make a beeline for it.

During a recent Duma FM interview, the new secretary general, Botho Seboko, personified the refurbishment of the BPP by comparing it to “a new girl in town whom every man wants.” To stay with this metaphor, there is a certain part of town (precisely a very important office in the Fairground Holdings business district) where men will not be falling over themselves to join the rat race any time soon. In anticipation of Botswana automating its electoral process and well after the BPP’s makeover at a Francistown national congress, the IEC despatched a delegation of MPs and councillors to India. The purpose was for the latter to learn firsthand about the use of electronic voting machines which the country plans to adopt ahead of its 2019 general election.

It has since emerged that BPP was not part of this delegation and Seboko’s explanation is that the party was not invited on the trip to India. Following the trip, IEC hosted a stakeholders’ workshop at Tlotlo Hotel in Gaborone that was attended by all political parties but the BPP. The purpose of this workshop, which was attended by representatives of an Indian company that will most likely supply IEC with the EVMs, was to explain the upcoming electoral dispensation to both stakeholders and interested parties. According to Seboko, the party did not send representatives to this workshop because it was not invited.  He says that the BPP only came to learn about EVM developments from the IEC’s Facebook page and that such being the case, the party cannot make any definite pronouncements on an issue it is only cursorily acquainted with through media reportage.

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