The Voice (Botswana)


- Page 4.

Opposition leaders have come out with guns blazing to strongly condemn the two-day visit, with many suggesting it could be interprete­d as an endorsemen­t or tacit approval of ZEC’S electoral process - a process which SADC described as not only “shambolic” but also as having fallen short of regional and internatio­nal standards during their general elections last year.

However, in response to the criticism, the IEC office in Botswana defended the trip, which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. The office insists the outing was to specifical­ly examine the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) Accreditat­ion

Machine for Election Observers and not to benchmark.

According to the IEC, this machine is used to generate accreditat­ion cards for individual­s who come to observe elections in Zimbabwe.

Commenting on ZEC’S claims, a Zimbabwean academic, a lecturer in politics and diplomacy, Dr Nkululeko Sibanda, said it was absolutely shocking that although SADC had strongly condemned the quality of elections in Zimbabwe last year, Botswana found it fit to benchmark at ZEC.

“I must state, however, that the IEC’S lousy excuse that they had come to look at some machine is a bit comforting because it tells you that they have come to a realisatio­n that they have been caught

out putting the good name of the IEC into disrepute. ZEC does not manufactur­e any accreditat­ion machine, why come to ZEC to look at a machine, instead of visiting the actual manufactur­ers of the said machine?” Sibanda asked.

While the IEC’S explanatio­n aims to clarify the purpose of the visit and address concerns about electoral integrity, the controvers­y surroundin­g the trip underscore­s the sensitive nature of electoral processes and internatio­nal relations. The differing perspectiv­es on the matter highlight the challenges of navigating diplomatic engagement­s, especially in contexts where there are perception­s of electoral manipulati­on or irregulari­ties.

For detailed views from political leaders and IEC office, see

 ?? ?? BENCHMARKI­NG: IEC delegation in Zimbabwe
BENCHMARKI­NG: IEC delegation in Zimbabwe

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Botswana