MASERU — A Democratic Congress (DC) member is in trouble for allegedly violating the electoral code of conduct during the May 26 election.
Zakaria Kele was on Thursday hauled before the Independent ElectoralCommission (IEC)’s tribunal to answer charges of misleading voters at Tlametlu Lesotho Evangelical Church polling station in Qeme constituency.
The complainants are the All Basotho Convention’s Motseki Sekantši, the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD)’s Motlatsi ’Mota and Vincent Khoete of the Basotho National Party.
The three lost the constituency to the DC’s Kali Seitlheko.
The case is before the tribunal chairman Advocate Sakoane Sakoane who is assisted by Peete Lerotholi and ’Malerotholi Seeiso.
The first to testify was the LCD candidate ’Mota who said he witnessed the violation with Sekantši, Khoete and Lebohang Mots’eleli of Lekhotla la Mekhoa le Meetlo (LMM).
’Mota told the tribunal that they had brought food for their party agents when they saw Kele and a group of people standing outside the polling room.
He also said their party agents told them that Kele and his group were misbehaving.
’Mota said the LCD agents told him that Kele was recruiting voters andthreatening others.
Kele was allegedly holding voters’ roll copies.
He said Kele was in the company of six other people and they stood opposite the middle door of the polling station”.
’Mota then went to a police assistant to report what the party agents had told him.
“When I noticed that no action was being taken, I went to Policeman Hlaoli, who immediately went to the group and disperse them.”
Kele is alleged to have told some people that their names did not appear on the voters’ roll he was holding.
Thabiso Mohomane was allegedly told to go to ’Matikoe polling station, over 10 kilometres away, because his name did not appear in Tlametlu’s voters’ roll.
Mohomane noticed that Kele had misled him when IEC officials at ’Matikoe said he was actually registered in Tlametlu.
Cross-examined by Kele, ’Mota said he could not remember the name of aperson Kele allegedly intimidated but could find it if given time.
’Mota’s evidence was corroborated by the ABC and BNP candidates.
’Mamothibeli Lepheane, an LCD party agent, told the tribunal she sawKele holding voters rolls.
“While outside, I saw Ntate Zakaria (Kele) and ’Mamorena Soothoholding voters rolls,” she said.
Lepheane said the two were joining people who were queuing to vote and she “heard them telling people what they should do”.
“I took it that they were making a mistake and I expected Zakaria Kele and ’Mamorena Sootho to leave because they had already voted and I wondered why they were not leaving,” she
said. The case continues.