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Article By: Rorisang Mogojwe

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has addressed public concerns regarding their recent visit to Zimbabwe, clarifying the purpose of the trip and denying allegations of seeking to learn election rigging tactics. In a statement, IEC Principal Public Relations Officer Phatodi Nacane confirmed sending two officials to Zimbabwe, but solely to explore the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's (ZEC) accreditation machine for election observers.

This contrasts with initial reports suggesting a broader "benchmarking exercise."

Nacane explained that the IEC currently accredits observers manually, a process perceived as less efficient. He added that Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's machine, reportedly lauded in various reports, attracted the IEC's interest as a potential way to streamline their own accreditation system.

The IEC strongly denied accusations from the opposition Botswana National Front (BNF) that the trip aimed to learn election manipulation techniques. Nacane asserted that the IEC remains committed to conducting free and fair elections in Botswana.

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