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MBABANE – The excitement over the possibility of winning a car after voting for certain candidates might be short-lived.

Swaziland Gaming Board Control Secretary Hermon Motsa has requested the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to look into the issue of candidates promising the electorate cars if they voted for them. Motsa said this during an interview yesterday.

He said no one had approached them or informed them that they would be giving away a car if people voted for them. He said for any game of chance, people had to go through the Board but giving the thumbs up was not automatic. He said each application was treated on its merits but in the case of elections, it was obvious that it was not a gambling matter.

“Even if anyone would come with such a request, I doubt we would approve it,” Motsa.
He explained that this was because they considered the objective of conducting games of chance and to them, this was tantamount to persuading the electorate vote a certain way; something which he interpreted as abusing the election process. He said they could not approve this and implored the EBC to be observant of such conduct during the elections.

Motsa, when asked what steps the Gaming Board could possibly take against people who canvass for votes with the promise of cars at the end, said they only considered the element of the game of chance. He said it was evident in the report published by this newspaper yesterday about the possibility of winning a car. He said they trusted that the EBC was looking into such matters and analysing them with the intention to have them addressed through laws governing elections and gaming. Motsa condemned the abuse of the electorate through things that were in violation of the Gaming Act.

EBC Chairman Chief Gija said they took up the matter with their legal advisor who would advise the commission on how to deal with it.
Dlamini said in his opinion, promising voters a car was grossly wrong as this could be perceived as a raffle draw. He said this was diverting people from voting and turning their focus to gambling at the elections’ expense.


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