Monica is a Zimbabwean maid working in Botswana like thousands others who have crossed over into the country looking for greener pastures.
Yesterday when millions of other Zimbabweans were casting votes in her country of origin, she was carrying out her normal chores as a maid in Gaborone’s Block 5.
According to her, she has not gone home to vote because she does not see the reason for doing so as it is a foregone conclusion that the incumbent President Robert Mugabe was going to rig the elections and win.
Asked why she feels so, she said that it is a well-known thing that the elections would be rigged on Saturday.
Even through the local media, she says that she has learned of reports about alleged ghost voters who have been registered as voters whilst the names of those who have properly registered have been omitted from the voters roll.
“These are just the few examples that point out to the fact that the elections are going to be rigged and that is why I think it better to stay here and work for my family,” she said.
Monica also said that she has never even bothered to register as a voter whilst she was still in Zimbabwe because she knew this was going to happen.
Meters from where she works, there were some young Zimbabwean men who were working in a make shift welding workshop. Like Monica, they have not gone home to vote as well.
One of them, calling himself David, says that he would have loved to go home and vote but that he did not because he had been told by his young brother, who is a political activist in Harare, that his name is missing from the voters’ roll.
According to him, he had phoned home just to check on his family and was surprised to hear that his name did not appear on the voters’ roll.
“After hearing this, I did not see any reason for going to Zimbabwe as I know quite well that I would not be able to vote even if I went home,” he said.
David also said that he had heard from “Studio 7”, which broadcasts news about Zimbabwe but is based in the United States, about people’s names missing from the voters’ roll but had never thought it would happen to him till he heard the news.
“I was shocked to hear about this and it has even dampened my hopes about the future of my country because this just points to the fact that elections might be rigged as some people, including opposition candidates in Zimbabwe, have been alleging,” he said.
Another Zimbabwean, calling himself only Gregory and who says he was a primary school teacher back home but now earns a living by selling ice cream around Gaborone, says that he was an illegal immigrant in this country and would not have risked going home to cast his vote as he might have been arrested on his way to Zimbabwe. Gregory claims that he had registered to vote before leaving Zimbabwe.
Asked if he knew whether his name is on the voters’ roll, he confessed that he had not even bothered to check on that.
This comes after the Botswana/Zimbabwe Coalition last week issued a statement calling on Zimbabweans staying in Botswana to go home and vote.