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Motsaathebes night vigil came to naught

Motsaathebe demanded counting be re-done

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Youth Leader, Kenaleone Motsaathebe is at loggerheads with the party over irregularities that spurned out of the Goodhope-Mabule primary elections.

By Thursday evening Motsaathebe was consulting with some lawyers in Gaborone on the legal options he could pursue against the party after he alleged that he was not given an opportunity to be heard after he complained about “cheating” in the party primaries. But he was also keeping an open mind on a “political solution”.

While Motsaathebe was busy consulting with his lawyers, BDP secretary general, Botsalo Ntuane was already on his way to Goodhope to file papers for the nomination of Eric Molale as the BDP candidate for the bye-election. He also had an engagement with BDP members in the constituency.

Molale was declared winner for the second time on Wednesday night after a verification process that was demanded by Motsaathebe. During the verification process Motsaathebe’s votes increased by a further 67, while

Molale’s went up by 34. Other candidates also received extra 32, 17, and 1 vote in that order.

The additional numbers gave Molale a 45 vote margin over Motsaathebe. Initially Molale garnered 703 votes and Motsaathebe was voted by 625 BDP members.

Those who attended the verification process intimated that Motsaathebe was not convinced that he lost fairly. He indicated that the verification process had revealed discrepancies hence he demanded that the ballots be recounted.

The other candidates, Mononi, Mogatle and Segatle were also invited because they were interested parties. Motsaathebe was clear that the matter involved him and Molale. The BDP hierarchy at the meeting indicated that counting would take the whole night, and was going to be a lot of work, but Motsaathebe insisted on it.

To throw the spanner into the works, BDP lawyer Parks Tafa demanded that Motsaathebe make an undertaking that he will accept the results should the recount be done, but Motsaathebe refused to make an undertaking.

The time was already 11pm and the BDP leaders decided to declare Molale the winner for the second time. Motsaathebe was not happy with the decision.

Those close to Motsaathebe told this publication that he is not happy and is adamant that he was not given a hearing because the process was not completed. He had demanded a recount and it was not done. The former BDP Youth Wing chairman is convinced that the Goodhope-Mabule BDP primary elections were rigged and the results should be nullified. He has indicated to his buddies that the fact that the verification process gave him extra votes more than any of the other candidates is an indication that he was the target of elimination in the election.

“He has told us that the BDP leaders are not willing to find a political solution to the impasse. He is wondering what they intend to do because the legal route does not favour the party at all because they have no leg to stand on,” said one of Motsaathebe’s close allies.

Indications are that Motsaathebe may plunge the BDP into a scenario similar to that created by White Marobela when he challenged the victory of Ignatius Moswaane in the Francistown West BDP primary elections.
A court intervention led to the BDP not contesting the bye-election which was ultimately won by the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) candidate, Dr Habaudi Hobona. BDP members in Goodhope-Mabule fear that Motsaathebe wants to block Molale from contesting the election on August 14th. They have challenged the party to close all legal gaps to ensure that Molale faces Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and Comfort Molosiwa of the BCP.

Motsaathebe declined to comment on the subject, only indicating that the process of his appeal has not been completed.

WHAT MOTSAATHEBE WROTE ON HIS FACEBOOK WALL

“I have opted not to give any details regarding the status quo following the primary election at Goodhope Mabule. For the simple reason that the matter is before BDP structures and I am not a spokesperson of the BDP. It's sad how some people can exploit a person's circumstances for whatever reason! I am a loyal member of the BDP and will remain so forever! I have never on any way had what is said to be "ideas" of working with the opposition! Whatever decisions I take, are entirely within the constitution of the BDP and the best interest of the party and not mine or those of any particular group. As a loyal BDP member, I have and shall always urge democrats to remain loyal and support the BDP at all times! We have a bye election in the 15th August which must be won by the BDP and democrats have to work hard to achieve this and ignore any other attempts to distract us. I have always encouraged all those who voted for me, after thanking them and all other democrats who voted for other candidates, to unite, rally behind the BDP and not individuals, to ensure that the best interests of the BDP are promoted and protected! Goodhope Mabule is a BDP stronghold that has to return to the BDP on August the 15th. We all have a duty to protect our beloved BDP. I urge pleas with democrats to ignore any suggestions that I would sabotage an organization that I voluntarily joined in 1990. Democracy is paramount! I thank you all.”

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