Opposition coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change presidential candidate, Duma Boko, casts his vote in Gaborone Wednesday Oct. 23, 2019. Polls opened in Botswana as the long peaceful southern African nation faces what is expected to be a tight election.(AP Photo/Sello Motseta)
Opposition coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change presidential candidate, Duma Boko, casts his vote in Gaborone Wednesday Oct. 23, 2019. Polls opened in Botswana as the long peaceful southern African nation faces what is expected to be a tight election.(AP Photo/Sello Motseta)

Botswana opposition demands that 'rigged' presidential polls be nullified

By LOYISO SIDIMBA Time of article published Dec 5, 2019

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Gaborone - The leader of Botswana’s opposition alliance, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Duma Boko, has described the October presidential elections as fraudulent and stolen from them.

Boko and the UDC have roped in forensic investigator Paul O’Sullivan’s Forensics for Justice to probe vote-rigging in the southern African country.

According to Boko, they have evidence of electoral fraud allegedly committed by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

”The Botswana general election of 2019 was fraudulently rigged to favour the BDP, by the leadership of the BDP, assisted by the Directorate for Intelligence and Security Services. There can be no reason, other than fraud, why the intelligence services, were involved in the election,” reads the report compiled by Forensics for Justice after they were approached by Boko.

O’Sullivan said the BDF leadership, which include Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi, were guilty of committing offences such as fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Forensics for Justice, of which O’Sullivan is the founding director, has recommended that a proper independent audit be conducted and properly overseen by an independent body.

Should their findings be confirmed by the independent audit Forensics for Justice recommended that the results should be nullified and for the BDP leadership involved in vote rigging to face criminal charges.

A new poll should take place with proper oversight and those found guilty of vote rigging be banned from future involvement in elections.

UDC was backed by Masisi’s predecessor Ian Khama but could only manage to win 15 out of 57 seats while BDP secured 38.

This is despite pre-election projections showing that UDC would get 31 seats and BDP 22, according to the Forensics for Justice investigation.

Forensics for Justice was initially contacted by anonymous whistleblowers indicating that there were irregularities in the elections.

O’Sullivan said the whistleblowers were afraid but Boko later approached him to get to the bottom of the allegations of vote rigging.

Political Bureau

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