Voter registration initiative

Daniel Chida
L-R: Butale, Mokaloba, Sebina, Machete, Mohwasa & Tiego

Mixed reactions from political pundits

A Motswana woman, Stephinah Naledi Sebina, has come up with an initiative called, IkwadiseMonana Voter Registration Challenge meant to encourage youth to go and register for voting.

After registering, one takes a picture of the registration card and comments under her post with it together with a creative message encouraging others to go and register.

The comment with the most likes by this Friday midnight will be the winner. The Voice staffer, DANIEL CHIDA, speaks to civil society and party leaders to get their views on the move.

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Moeti Mohwasa – Head of Communication for Umbrella Democratic Change

Voters deserve innovative and exciting initiatives that will encourage them to go and register and vote.

The idea is about getting as many people to take part in the elections.

No one should be left out.

Initiatives like this one add colour and flavour to the campaigns.

It is something that excites the youth who constitute the majority of potential voters.

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Olebile Machete – BOCONGO Chairman

For me, this speaks to desperation because voter apathy is real.

And the most critical stakeholders, being political formations and activists, feel the most hit.

I don’t imagine that a random citizen can start doling out money as a way of encouraging citizens to register to vote.

So, I think it is a political initiative.

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On the other hand, I think political parties and activists should expend much more of their energy in building the confidence in voters on their capability to lead the country and deal with emerging challenges.

There is something off with political formations or activists having to dangle a carrot of any size and shape in order for citizens to do their civic duty of registering to vote.

Can we expect the same on voting day? To say cast your vote and stand a chance to win this or that? The lack of confidence on our politics by the citizens should be a major cause for concern for all and an urgent call for introspection.

I would never expect any monetary reward from exercising my constitutional right.

I would never offer any monetary reward for any citizen to undertake their civic duty and exercise their constitutional right.

So am against such an initiative.

Biggie Butale- Botswana Republican Party

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I think we are trivialising a very solemn process.

I understand the frustration at the nonchalance a majority of eligible voters treats our elections, but two wrong can never make a right!

Mokaloba Mokaloba- Analyst

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The intention is good as the overall objective is to get people to register.

However it also presents a chance for people now to get paid to exercise their democratic right.

It can be risky especially to the youth who will now see an opportunity to sell their democratic right to the highest bidder.

Thuso Tiego- President of Botswana Movement for Democracy

Batswana should be taught about the importance of participating in elections.

These are desperate measures used to encourage them to go register to vote because of voter apathy.

So anything at this point that can get them to go register should be appreciated if it yields the expected results.

Master Mfundisi- Analyst

Any civic and political education initiative is commendable.

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We have an IEC and ruling party that do not value citizen participation and involvement.

The latter promotes voter apathy maintain the status quo.

When the centre does not hold, individual patriots and other democrats takeover political discourse.

We are dealing with political narcissists, products of self admiration, self entitlement, self aggrandisement and corruption.

Character and leadership matter in the presidency.

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