Saleshando salutes Boko

Daniel Chida

Condemns BURS and DISS for ‘sickening’ treatment

The Leader of Opposition, Dumelang Saleshando has applauded the President of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Duma Boko for his efforts during the 2019 general election campaigns.

Responding to the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Wednesday, Saleshando praised Boko for remaining resolute and committed despite ‘sickening’ treatment from the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) and Directorate of Intelligence and Services (DISS)

“For this, I want to salute and pay tribute to him,” stated Saleshando, his comments met with deafening applause from opposition Members of Parliament.

“He did his best to serve his people and his organisation well under difficult and harsh conditions,” continued the Maun West MP.

Saleshando noted that BURS’ searches were always ‘well timed and calculated’, designed to frustrate the UDC campaigns. He added that to date, BURS has not stated what it was searching for in the aircrafts utilised by Boko to travel to UDC rallies.

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“If indeed Duma Boko was for a period of over two years in breach of our tax laws, why was he never charged and brought before the courts of law? BURS were never on a mission to collect unpaid taxes, they were on a political mission to obstruct and frustrate Boko. At times, BURS, alongside DISS, targeted Boko’s family in his absence,” blasted the Botswana National Front (BNF) President, bristling with anger as he spoke.

Saleshando went on to describe the revenue service as overzealous in frustrating the UDC’s campaigning.

“We are not contesting the mandate of the BURS in collecting taxes from all who have to pay, including those in the opposition and its leadership. Where political leaders fail to comply with the tax laws, BURS have a right to insist on compliance.”

However, he maintained the ‘unending searches’ meted out on the UDC President in the run up to the general elections were ‘clearly not about ensuring compliance’.

Saleshando further criticized how the elections were conducted, claiming the DIS and BURS influenced the outcome. He insisted the elections could not be described as having exhibited political maturity, tolerance, and respect for one another, peace and transparency.

“For the first time in the history of our country, key state institutions, namely the DIS and BURS, played a key role in influencing the outcome of the 2019 general elections.”

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Continuing his fiery speech, Saleshando accused the Director General of the DISS of making public statements about the IEC database and 2019 general elections that ‘demonstrated a desire and plan to interfere with the electoral process’.

“The DISS role in the 2019 general elections has put an ugly stain on the credibility of the election outcome. It was inevitable that those who knew that the involvement of the DISS in the election process was likely to compromise their electoral fortunes would find it difficult to accept the results. I therefore appeal to the nation to be patient with those who may choose to exercise their right to file election petitions,” Saleshando concluded.

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