Botswana Electoral Commission Under Fire Over Trip Of Shame To Zimbabwe
15 February 2024
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By A Correspondent| The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of Botswana has been forced to issue a statement to quash claims that its visit to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was to ‘learn how to rig an election.’

In its statement, IEC said they visited Zimbabwe to look at ZEC’s accreditation machine for Election observers.

“Relating to the IEC’s visit to the ZEC, t is true that on Monday the 12th February 2024, the Commission dispatched its Manager responsible for voter education and the Chief Public Relations Officer to the Republic of Zimbabwe to specifically look at the ZEC’s accreditation machine for election observers.

“Therefore, the IEC’s idea is to see what the ZEC has and compare with what other countries in the region have, with a view to see what can work for us in Botswana, as the Commission prepares for the 2024 General elections,” said Phatodi Nacane, IEC Public Relations Officer.

There is therefore, no benchmarking trip by the IEC to Zimbabwe aimed at learning how to rig an election as alleged in the statement. The IEC cannot and will not rig elections

A coalition of opposition parties in Botswana (Botswana National Front) had IEC for traveling to Zimbabwe accusing them of being a bird of the same feather with ZEC.

Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, spokesperson for the opposition Botswana National Front, expressed disappointment at the commission’s trip.

“One would have expected the IEC to benchmark in more developed democracies and systems with effective electoral institutions as an indication that they really want to achieve excellence in their mandate,” Motshegwa said.

“The mission of Botswana’s IEC benchmarking in Zimbabwe is simple: Just to learn how to rig an election,” he added.