A number of heads are expected to roll from the Botswana Democratic Party Central Committee in the coming weeks following reports that some executive committee members were behind the recent rigging of the party primary elections in an attempt to gain advantage in the race for President Ian Khama’s successor.
The electoral fraud is understood to be masterminded by a Central Committee member who is vying for the Vice Presidency and is allegedly being sponsored by the ZANU-PF of Zimbabwe.
The BDP has already brought in the Botswana Police Service to investigate allegations of electoral fraud and a number of party officials employed at head office have already filed statements with Detective Superintendent Baakile of Broadhurst Police Station.
The party has been forced to postpone the primary elections for the Southern region which were scheduled for yesterday (Saturday.) Information passed to the Sunday Standard reveal that sometime last week party electoral board chairman Parks Tafa had to call in Gaborone Central police officers to investigate the electoral fraud.
The Sunday Standard has been able to secure police statement made by BDP officers revealing how a list of names and membership cards were leaked to a Gaborone parliamentary candidate linked to the Central Committee member who is in the running for Vice Presidency. The statement also makes reference to another confession statement by a BDP official allegedly linking the Central Committee member to the election fraud in the BDP Northern region primary elections. The fraud which involved the manipulation of registration of membership, voter’s rolls and production of membership cards was to be replicated in the party primary elections for the Southern region.
Party insiders say the member has come compiled a hit list of possible candidates for the Vice Presidency and their supporters. The grand plan was to make sure that they lose the primary elections so that they drop out of the race for vice presidency. According to the amended laws, the vice president of Botswana should be popularly elected to parliament.
Police spokesperson senior superintendent Dipheko Motube said police were called in by the BDP office to investigate allegation of fraud.
“As you might be aware once investigations have started and some people would be questioned by the police as part of their investigation” he stated
He further said currently they have no penitential suspect or suspects, the preliminary investigations revealed no foul play and investigations have been suspended.
He noted that if it happens that a piece of information crops up, the investigation will then resume which will eventually lead to the prosecution of the offender.
He appealed to the members of the public to assist the police with any information that may lead to the arrest of the culprits.
However BDP electoral board Secretary Lee Lesetedi said though he is not in a position to discuss the matter in details, the fact of the matter is that BDP electoral board chairman reported the matter to the police.