The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has been snowed under a pile of writs of summons dragged served by two Ramotswa Constituency voters who claim voter trafficking. The two voters, Philip Mokgalagadi and Rosinah Tlage have cited 50 voters to various Magistrate Courts in Gaborone claiming they have registered in polling stations which are not in their areas of residence.
The two constituents represent themselves while the more than 50
Respondents are represented by Dingake Law Partners law firm. In their
Affidavits, Mokgalagadi and Tlage state that they want the Respondents
to be struck off the voters roll or have their registrations cancelled
because the polling stations at which they had registered do not fall
within their District of residence.
But the Respondents, through their attorneys state that they have in the
past participated in Ramotswa Constituency by registering at the same
polling stations which fall within their polling District of residence.
The applicants also state that they have not been served with the
Applicants’ objection as required by the mandatory provisions of Section
18 (4) of the Electoral Act. The Section states that Principal
Registration Officer must serve copy of objection on person to whom
objection relates. In this regard, the applicants say they do not
understand the basis of the objection to their registrations as voters
at polling stations they have always registered and voted in the
previous general elections. “The objector must indicate that his or
her name appears in the roll of the Constituency in which the objection
relates, in terms of Section 18 (1) of the Electoral Act. This has not
been done,” state the Respondents. They say they do not know, nor do the
Applicants demonstrate, if the objector’s name is in the roll.
“There is no evidence that as a matter of fact an objection exists in
terms of Section 18 (2) of the Electoral Act in so far as same has not
been delivered to (us) at all. No deposit has shown to have been paid
and there is no indication if the objection relates to a roll of general
or supplementary nature and falls within the prescribed timelines
within which an objection may be taken,” they said. The Applicants also
state that the complainants have failed to forward to them objection
against the letter and spirit of Section 18 (4) of the Electoral Act.
One of the cases was heard by Village Chief Magistrate, Linah
Oahile-Mokibe and the other relating to the same matter and brought by
the same Applicants was heard by Extension Two Magistrate, Jobbie
Gaosikelwe. Oahile-Mokibe this week ordered that the hearing be
postponed to 19 July and that IEC should comply with Section 18 of the
Electoral Act by furnishing the Applicants with copy of the Objection.
The Respondents have also told the court that they are seeking legal
advice on the matter and they are also expected to cite the IEC as one
of the Respondents. For her part, Gaosikelwe is expected to deliver her
ruling on the application relating to the same matter on 4thJune. The
applicants’ lawyers have since indicated that they intend to consolidate
the dozens application into a single case.
Source: Sunday Standard