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EVMs case set for August

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REASONING: Gabriel Seeletso and Dumelang Saleshando

Botswana Congress Party, (BCP) attorney, Gabriel Komboni has pleaded with the Francistown High Court to have the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs’) case status hearing deferred further until parliament sits in July.

BCP had on the 8th of December 2016, instituted legal action against the Attorney General (AG), Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and Secretary to the IEC respectively, questioning the legality of EVMs.

The AG later on turned around and applied for the matter to be disposed of without going into the merits of the case citing late filing from the BCP.

The state also said that the delay in progress of the matter will prejudice the procument of the gadgets.

The party which is convinced that EVMs are not in line with the country’s constitution, did not give in without a fight.

BCP then applied for condonation of late filing and explained that the reason they filed late was because they had not secured experts who could testify in their corner.

On Wednesday when the parties had come for their final case management, Komboni said that the law they are challenging might no longer be in place by the end of the next parliament sitting.

However, he assured this publication outside court that matter still remain alive but they just have to hear the outcomes of the parliament stand.

The BCP attorney told the court that, in filing admission of heads on the 23rd April, the defendants attached a draft bill which was published in the government gazette on the 27th of December. “The bill seeks to repeal the existing electoral act which is being challenged,” Komboni explained.

He said there was no need to set trial dates because there is a possibility that the matter may be debated further.

Matlhogonolo Phutlhego of the Attonery Generals Chambers confirmed Komboni’s statement.

He said the matter could be deferred to a later date for status hearing.

Francistown High Court Judge, Lot Moroka, concurred with the parties and the matter was scheduled for the 1st of August for status hearing.