Harare, (New Ziana) – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo to head a Southern African Development Community (Sadc) election observer mission to Botswana.
He made the appointment in his capacity as the chairman of SADC’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation which oversees electoral issues in the group.
Botswana, a member of Sadc, holds general election on October 23.
A preliminary assessment of SADC noted that Botswana was ready to conduct the elections as scheduled.
“The core mandate of the SEOM (observer mission) shall be to determine adherence of the Republic of Botswana to democratic values and principles envisioned in the Sadc Treaty, the SADC protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, the provision of the Revised SADC principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections, the Constitution and the Electoral Act of Botswana,” spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade,” Shepherd Gwenzi said.
Dr Moyo is expected to officially launch the SEOM on Monday and issue a preliminary statement on the elections on October 25.
At the polls, which are expected to be tightly contested, the Tswana are expected to elect 57 national assembly legislators and 490 local government representatives.
The leader of the political party that wins most seats in parliament will become president of the country.
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), currently led by President Mokgweetsi Masisi, has since independence from British colonial rule in 1966 dominated the southern African country’s political landscape.
The party will however face a stiff challenge from a BDP splinter group, the Botswana Patriotic Front, led by former President Ian Khama, who walked away from the ruling party in May, criticising his successor’s rule.
The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is also expected to present a formidable challenge in the polls.