Opposition parties plan national shutdown

Daniel Chida
SPEAKING WITH ONE VOICE: Opposition parties

“The purpose of these demonstrations is to advocate for free, fair, transparent, and credible elections in Botswana”- Motshegwa

The Chairperson of the All Opposition Parties (AOP), Ketlhalefile Motshegwa has announced that the AOP, along with civil society are planning mass demonstrations aimed at shutting down the country on a date to be announced.

The purpose of these demonstrations is to advocate for free, fair, transparent, and credible elections in Botswana.

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According to Motshegwa, these demonstrations will take place not only in Gaborone across the country where there are Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) offices.

Addressing the media this week, Motshegwa said AOP will not only source for support from all opposition parties and civil society but also from sympathisers from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.

Motshegwa expressed concerns about the perceived or possible interference of the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission (ZEC) and its ruling party, ZANU PF, in Botswana’s sovereignty and electoral process.

Opposition parties plan national shutdown

These suspicions of Zimbabwe possibly assisting Botswana to rig 2024 general elections were sparked by a controversial IEC benchmarking trip to Zimbabwe, a country that has a well documented history of electoral irregularities and allegations of rigging as well as the timing of the trip ahead of the October elections.

This interference, Motshegwa said affects not only opposition parties but the ruling BDP too.

He cited the close association or ‘brotherhood’ between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and ZANU PF as evidence of potential election rigging.

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“It is clear now that elections are going to be rigged and we want all to participate so that we put pressure. The will of the people is to have a change of government,” he said.

The AOP emphasised their commitment to peaceful, transparent, and fair elections, contrasting it with what they perceive as the opposite of what is obtaining on the ground.

Overall, the AOP’s mass demonstrations are intended to address perceived threats to Botswana’s electoral integrity and advocate for a democratic electoral process, Motshegwa explained.

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