Member of Parliament for Mmopane Lentsweletau, Moeng Pheto campaign team allegedly caught the Acting Minister of Youth, sports and Culture, Vincent Seretse’s campaign team using Pheto’s posters for their campaigns.
Speaking at a Press Conference yesterday Pheto said the BDP campaign team printed posters of him in BDP colours and went around telling elders that if they want to vote for him in the coming elections they should put a cross next to the jack.
“We have this kind of government that is already cheating even before the Election Day; we have discovered that this method of using my pictures was used in most of the villages in Mmopane-Lentsweletau constituency. They tell the electorates especially the elderly that I am still with the BDP therefore they should put a cross by the jack which is the BDP symbol, this is criminal,” he said.
Pheto also cried foul over the use of state media. He said there were some incidents where some of the reporters from the state media were told not to waste time covering his rallies or launches if they still want to keep their jobs.
“During my launch Botswana Television reporters personally told me that they have been informed by their superiors not to cover my launch and indeed they left before the launch started. There is also this tendency where Public media gives preference to party candidates as compared to independent candidates. We see this imbalance and un-fairness continuing even now,” he said.
Pheto said the behavior is also spearheaded by the head of State, “there is a general intimidation of the voters by the President, and the President does not recognize independent candidates. We are of the view that President Khama, in his capacity as the President of the Republic of Botswana, should take a lead in defending the constitution of this country. The Constitution of Botswana allows for independent candidates,” he said.
Pheto said the constitution does not discriminate as every Motswana meeting the requirements needed can stand as an independent candidate representing the people not necessarily being a member of any political party.
“Our understanding is that the Head of State is responsible for defending the constitution of Botswana and educating Batswana on the content of the constitution. He must not undermine any other candidates. We see this kind of intimidation advancing to opposition parties. Electorates are told that if they vote opposition parties they will not be assisted with government programs and even developments in their areas,” he said.
Independent Parliamentary Candidate for Letlhakeng-Lephephe, Anderson Mathiba also slammed Khama for naming independent candidates as mekoko.
“Let me educate Khama; section 61 of our Constitution stipulates that for one to qualify to be a parliamentary candidate they must be 18 years and above, with Cambridge, O’level or more; having no criminal records. There is no such thing as mekoko, there is what is called independent candidates, and for him to be naming us mekoko simple shows that he undermines us.” he said.