The 2019 general election has seen some big guns fall after they lost their seats in their respective constituencies. The Opposition bloc, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and the Alliance for Progressives (AP) fell the heaviest after their leaders were defeated in this election.
UDC have lost some big guns in Gaborone in this election – among them Advocate Duma Boko, the party leader. He lost Gaborone Bonninton North to Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s Annah Motlhagodi, who was trying her luck at legislating for the third time after two unsuccessful stints with her former party, Botswana Congress Party (BCP). Motlhagodi garnered 6933 votes against Boko’s 4495 votes.
Boko was a casualty as a result of a red wave that had ravaged through the southern based constituencies where the victorious BDP white washed the opposition at both Local Government and Parliament level. Boko had hosted one of the biggest rally launches on the eve of election and the numbers had suggested he was on pole position to retain the constituency, but voters had other ideas.
Ndaba Gaolathe of the AP was another victim of the red wave. He fell to Christian Greef of the BDP who was also trying a shot at legislating for the second time after he was barred from contesting party primaries by his party in 2013. Greef defeated Ndaba with 4603 votes against 3460 votes. Ndaba, a likeable character because of his down to earth approach to issues and intellect was just collateral in the rage that came from voters in Gaborone Bonninton South.
Two other Members of Parliament of the 11th seating from the opposition bench, Phenyo Butale of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) in Gaborone Central; and Haskins Nkaigwa of the UDC in Gaborone North lost their seats to the BDP’s Tumisang Healy and Mpho Balopi respectively. In its whitewash of the opposition in Gaborone, the BDP also managed to push in a new Member of Parliament in Gaborone South, Meshack Mthimkhulu, who won against UDC’s Nelson Ramaotwana.
The BDP also registered casualties as a result of former President Dr Ian Khama in the central district. The BDP lost all the Serowe constituencies hence Kgotla Autlwetse, a former cabinet member was a casualty. The most recognizable fall was that of former Minister of Transport and Communications, Dorcas Makgato who lost to Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang of the UDC. Makgato was a marked target of Ian Khama after he accused her of “insulting his father”. Khama used his influence in the central district to dislodge Makgato. Gobotswana overpowered Makgato with 9341 votes compared to her 5562 votes.
The Khama factor also played out in the Palapye constituency where another former Minister, Moiseraela Master Goya (5252 votes) was defeated by Onneetse Ramogapi (5282 votes). Khama’s party had fielded Dr Kolaatamo Malefho (1806 votes) as MP candidate to ensure that the BDP does not get enough votes to cross the line.
Former Acting Minister of Youth Sport and Culture Development, Dikgang Phillip Makgalemele could not stand against the Khama effect in Shoshong. He ended up losing the constituency to Aubrey Lesaso who pulled 8475 votes against Makgalemele’s 3843 votes. Makgalemele is one of the BDP MPs who was rumoured to have rejected a last minute call from BPF to contest under their ticket. Former Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng lost the Tonota constituency to Moathodi who is making a return to the august house. Olopeng attracted 7125 votes while Moathodi romped further with 8364 votes.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.