Sunday, March 7, 2021

Tati West parliamentary losers seek to meet Khama over their appeals

Two Botswana Democratic Party(BDP) primary election losers who were vying for the parliamentary seat in the Tati West Constituency, Boy Farayi Bonyongo and Robert Muzila have written a letter to the BDP Secretary General, Mpho Balopi requesting to meet with President Ian Khama over the outcome of their appeals.

The two politicians contested the Tati West primary elections against five other candidates, Ruth Nyathi, former Francistown mayor Peter Ngoma, Reverend Biggie Butale,Makaleng ward councilor Damian Thapa and Dr Badziili Nfila. The elections were won by Reverend Butale.

The primary election losers then appealed their loss to the BDP task committee and lost.

Sunday Standard is in possession of a letter written to the BDP Secretary General by Bonyongo and Muzila requesting to meet with President Ian Khama over their appeals.

In the letter, the appellants say that they do not accept the outcome of the Council and Parliamentary Hearings which dismissed their appeal.

“Consequent to receipt of the outcome of the Council and Parliamentary Appeal Hearings in respect of the Tati West Constituency dated 03/02/2014 we met and resolved as follows; that we do not accept the said outcome as presented and we also seek your arrangement to meet with his Excellency the President in his capacity as the Party President as well as to present our case,” they state in the letter.

In an interview with the Sunday Standard on Friday, Bonyongo confirmed that they have written the letter to the Secretary General;Mpho Balopi to solicit the help of President Ian Khama as they believe their appeal was not properly handled.

“We have indeed written a letter to meet with the President because we feel that our appeals were not fairly handled by the BDP task committee. There were a lot of irregularities during the elections. One such example is the 200 fake ballot papers which were found in a skit during elections in Vukwi village. Even the winner, Butale admitted before the task force committee during the hearing that they were indeed such fake ballot papers,” he said.

He said that they were shocked by the outcome of their appeal despite the fact that that there was compelling evidence of irregularities before the BDP task committee. Bonyongo further said that the fake ballot papers are currently at Masunga Police Station were they were kept in a safe.

┬á“Once we get the opportunity to meet with President Khama we will advise him to institute an election audit. President Khama has always called for elections to be audited in Zimbabwe and we feel that the same should be done in Botswana. We maintain our position that the primary elections in the Tati West Constituency were marred with a lot of irregularities and there is enough evidence to substantiate that. All we want is a re-run,” he said.

Reached for comment, Muzila said that he is not ready to talk to the media.

“I cannot say anything because I think it is too early to talk to the media for now,” he said.

Several efforts to reach Butale for comment were futile as his phone was off at the time of going for press.

Masunga Police Station Commander, Superintendent Boitshepho Kaisara confirmed that there was an altercation during the elections where the candidates argued over some ballot papers. He however said the issue was resolved by the candidates themselves.

“We never kept any ballot papers but I can confirm that we had an incident in which the candidates were arguing over the ballot papers. The issue was amicably resolved between the candidates,” he said.

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