Friday, June 25, 2021

Elections Appeal Hearing Dates Confirmed

Lekidi auditorium is expected to become a hive of activity tomorrow (Monday) when the Botswana Football Association (BFA) electoral appeal committee sits for duty.

The committee is expected to listen to the election appeals by two losing candidates, Senki Sesinyi and Maokaneng Bontshetse.

According to information from Lekidi, the hearings into the elections will be held at 1000hrs.

Sesinyi and Bontshetse were campaigning for the BFA second and first vice presidents respectively, both under the Team Sebego banner.

The two losing candidates are appealing against what they deemed irregularities in the elections which gave a Maclean Letshwiti led BFA a new four-year mandate to run the affairs of local football.

Among their complaints, the two appellants contend the use of non-members of the electoral board in vote counting process contrary to article 26 of the BFA electoral code.

The article states that ‘Only members of the electoral committee may take part in the count, with all other operations, opening the urn, counting the ballot papers, counting votes etc… shall be carried out in a way that can be followed clearly by the members of the general assembly.’

Both contend that the use of BFA secretariat employees in vote counting at both Palapye and Jwaneng went against the electoral code.

Bontshetse on the other hand is contesting against an alleged spoilt vote which landed in a wrong box, and was later deemed a spoilt vote.

The vote would go on to prove very crucial as he eventually lost the first vice president race to Pelotshweu Motlogelwa by a single vote.

In his appeal, Bontshetse claims that the vote did not warrant to be categorized as a spoilt vote as per article 21 and 22 of the BFA election code.

Among Sesinyi’s complaints is the use of same colour ballot papers for different rounds of the elections.

According to article 16 of the BFA electoral code, “The ballot paper shall be of a different colour for each round of elections.”

He contends that there was no variation of colour as article 16 states but rather one colour was used in the first round of elections and in the re-runs as well.

Another major gripe for Sesinyi is the perceived lack of secrecy which he believes eroded the concept of secret ballot as dictated in the BFA electoral code.

The two complainants stated that they wish for a re-election to take place but according to Kagiso ‘Fox’ Phatshimo, a sports journalist, there is a high chance that there will be no re-elections unless Sesinyi and Bontshetse have very strong evidence against BFA.

“I doubt there will be re-elections. I also doubt that that they have a strong case and with lack of concrete evidence the case might be dragged until it dies a natural death,” he said.   

Meanwhile, the electoral appeals committee has extended an invitation to the Sesinyi and Bontshetse’s opponents in the elections to be part of the process.

In a letter to the two appellants’ opponents from both Team Malesu and Team Letshwiti, they are advised to make submissions ‘if they desire to be part of the hearings.’

The letter, which is signed by Setete Phuthego, also advises the interested parties to inform the office prior to the hearing.’

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