Sunday, July 5, 2020

UDC petition witnesses demand their cut

Three people that had been roped in as witnesses of the Umbrella for Democratic Change when the party went to court to petition the results of the general elections last year have written a formal letter to UDC vice president Saleshando seeking their payment.The three are Moemedi Baikalafi, Emmanuel Seretse Mohalodi and Dikabelo Selaledi.

The three say they have tried to engage with UDC president Duma Boko and his ally Mike Keakopa to no avail.They say they have held meetings in South Africa and in Botswana about their overdue payment. But none has been forthcoming.In a tell all letter to Saleshando, the trio feel used and thrown away by a party that needed them when was challenging for power.

They say a report that was released by Paul O’Sullivan purporting how elections were rigged was part of efforts by them to get information for the UDC. The UDC lost all the court cases.

This week all the petitioners were served with legal bills running into hundreds of thousands of pula by lawyers acting for the Botswana Democratic Party.“After compiling all the affidavits and evidence, we flew to South Africa to deposit further evidence and affidavits ranging from BDP cellphones, voters’ cards, Bank transactions, communications on rigging of elections.”

They say after that a report was compiled and published by the engaged forensic expert Paul O’Sullivan and his team during November-December 2019 of which evidence is still with the forensic expert in South Africa to date.“During the same period we met with the famous UDC major sponsor Mr Zunaid Moti and team who promised us a sound, mouthwatering compensation payment plan as according to our efforts, the three of us including the logistics person (Mr Kenosi.). ”The three says they provided details including giving database to Paul O’Sullivan, but up to now they have not been paid.

Mr Dikabelo Selaledi was promised R750 000 with a down payment of half the price before the trial proceedings commenced as he appeared 4 times on the petition. Mr Emanuel Seretse Mohalodi was promised R500 000 and a down payment of half and all this was through verbal agreement done between the UDC president, Mr Duma Boko and Mr Zunaid Moti and team. These promises were made after recording our testimonies on election rigging. The meeting took place in Sandton, South Africa on the 4th December 2019. We kept asking about our dues from the UDC president and his team till today, we were tossed from pillar to post.

”We were then moved from South Africa to Botswana around 13th December 2019 as petition cases were just about to commence, we were then promised that we will be paid down payments and promised from this side (Botswana).In Botswana the three stayed at a lodge owned by the former UDC Member of parliament Dr Mmatli, who they say is owed P80 000 as a result.“we then met on the 18th of March 2020 at Bayford and Associates with Mike Keakopa (representing UDC President) and Mr Dick Bayford (the UDC lawyer) in which we had a lengthy  discussions on the petitions, outcome and way forward on our compensation plan in which we then settled that in 2 weeks’ time ending on the 1st of April 2020, we will be compensated according to our efforts.”

According to the letter P170 000 would replace all the promises made in Sandton and full and final settlements of our efforts to testify on election rigging.“The break down was done and broken down to each’s efforts; Moemedi Dennis Baikalafi (P80 000) Dikabelo Selaledi (50 000), Emmanuel Seretse Mohalodi (30 000) and P10 000 for the logistics person (Mr Kenosi).When they came back on the 18th April to collect their money, they were advised to engage with the UDC leadership.“We drove to UDC president residential house in Tlokweng and did not find him. His security officer called him and he directed us to Mike Keakopa or Nelson Ramaotwana. We tried Mike Keakopa and failed once more.”

As a parting shot the trio say their agreement with UDC has never been fulfilled.And that they remain ready to meet with UDC NEC leadership.When Sunday Standard called Mohalodi he confirmed the veracity of the letter. And said they have since held a face to face meeting with UDC vice president, Dumelang Saleshando. But said payment has still not happened.

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Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.