Saturday, October 23, 2021

Campaigns preach clean campaign, amid growing ‘cash for votes’ allegations

Despite promises of clean campaigns and zero tolerance to the money for votes campaign, allegations of underhanded campaigns continue to mount as the Botswana Football Association (BFA) Presidential race heats up. 

In what may shape out to be the most viciously fought campaign to date, all the three camps have vowed not to pay delegates to vote for them. 

BFA Presidential hopeful McLean Letshwiti made it clear that he will run a clean campaign devoid of bribery. 

The outspoken businessman, who confirmed he has heard the allegations of bribery in campaigns, has always maintained that he has his reputation to protect, and has publicly poured scorn on the idea of money for votes. 

“I have heard of these allegations and they come up time and again. Unfortunately they are very difficult to prove. It is unethical to buy votes and it should not be done in football. I have always preached that football should not be sold for temporary monetary gain and that is the message I pass to everyone in my campaigns,” Letshwiti explained.  

The same sentiments have been uttered by the incumbent BFA President Tebogo Sebego, who has vowed that he has no tolerance for unethical campaigning. Speaking in an interview, the BFA President said while he has heard of the allegations a lot recently, so far, there has been no evidence to suggest such. “The allegations of such campaigns are there, but the problem is that no one is willing to come out and give evidence that such has happened. If at all there is that money for votes campaign, it should not be tolerated. It is unethical. I am of the belief that people should vote for us based on the philosophy and message we pass to them,” the BFA President said. For his part, another BFA Presidential hopeful, Solomon Mantswe has also said his team intends to run a clean campaign. 

“We intend to commit to a fair and clean campaign. We hereby confirm that we shall pursue a dignified and credible process of election. We cannot proclaim the above and still be expected to engage in unorthodox and underhand activities in order to attain success,” Mantswe said during his launch. Notwithstanding the claims by all the three campaigning teams and their respective leaders, allegations of ‘FIFA Style’ brown envelopes votes buying system continue to hang over the campaigns like a dark cloud. According to sources, this has been more evident in the Gantsi region in the Western Block where the different camps have been busy on the campaign trail. Reached for comment, Western Block representative Oathusa Baoke said he has heard of such but said at the moment, he cannot confirm whether they are true. “I am busy investigating such and I hope in due course, I will have answers,” Baoke said. 

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