Monday, January 17, 2022

Fears over ballot counting as blackouts loom large

Fears abound that the country is likely to once again plunge into darkness during the general elections that will held in the next coming two weeks  as the troubled Morupule B power is unable to produce electricity since last week.

The Independent Electoral Commission IEC says it has procured back-up generators in case there is blackout during the counting of ballot papers. Botswana goes to elections in two weeks’s time.

The General Secretary of the Botswana Power Corporation Workers Union, Bahithetswe Mantswe said in a brief interview on Friday evening that “It is unfortunate that all the four units at Morupule B power plant have broken down since last week Tuesday.”

Even though he was cagey with information surrounding the circumstances that could have led to the power plant’s technical problems, he indicated that the units are leaking.

He said the engineers are busy on the ground trying to restore all the units.

It is not clear when the situation will be normalized, he said.

He stated that though BPC is sourcing power elsewhere, the public should be ready for load shedding in few days to come.
Lentswe further stated that it will be unfair if the new German company, STEAG Energcan can be blamed for the power crisis that the country is facing. Instead the blame should be squarely directed at China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC).

BPC spokesperson Spencer Moreri indicated that he was unable to respond to as his superiors were still locked in a meeting.
Dintle Rapoo from IEC stated that if it happens that the electricity can go off during counting IEC has backup generators that have been distributed throughout the country in all counting centres which include 57 constituencies and 490 centres.

He added that the public should not worry about power as they “already have plan B which is generators.”

He encouraged those who have registered for the general elections to go and cast their vote as it is their right.

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