Botswana National Front (BNF)’s new kid on the bloc, Pono Moatlhodi has vowed to work like a slave and ensure that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) becomes extraneous in Tonota South constituency.
Moatlhodi was officially welcomed into Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) realm last Tuesday afternoon at an event that was as good as his launch ahead of the General Election later this year in October alongside hundreds of supporters.
In a dramatic fashion, the followers, mainly from the ruling party, scrambled to dump BDP t-shirts in a transparent plastic container that was firmly placed near stand. Clad in yellow T-shirts inscribed ‘KE TSAMAYA LE BOTATE’ both young and old, they joined a long and winding queue to depose their membership cards. Although UDC officials refused to call it Moatlhodi’s launch ahead of general elections later this year, the situation on the ground was telling a different story. After the welcoming of new members, Moatlhodi took to the stand. He started by greeting the gathering and thanked some BNF activists for persuading him to join the opposition.
As he gained momentum, Moatlhodi said he will not leave any stone unturned in his bid to ensure that people of Tonota dump the ruling BDP and join the UDC. He said UDC activists have got a mammoth task of ensuring that BDP becomes irrelevant in the area.
“We have just welcomed a total 753 followers recruited from the BDP in just four wards namely Tonota West, Tonota Central, Tonota South East and Tonota East. However, we still have a long way ahead us to visit five wards that are left and lure them to UDC,” he said.
Dressed in a black hat inscribed UDC in yellow and black as well as a T-shirt of similar colours with his face engraved in front, Moatlhodi explained how determined he is to deliver victory for the umbrella party. In the five wards, Moatlhodi said UDC activists will ensure that BDP loses members to the opposition. Tonota has nine wards; and Moatlhodi has vowed to canvass support in every ward in a bid to garner more members for the UDC.
The least number of members Moatlhodi and his new party are determined to lure from the BDP are not less than 5 000. He said the development is an achievable mission because he is an experienced politician.
“I want to prove to all BDP candidates in Tonota that they are politically immature, political novices, political apprentices, and political irrelevant,” said Moatlhodi amid a thunderous round of applause from the gathering.
Efforts to get a comment from the BDP drew a blank. Olopeng and BDP’s Secretary General Mpho Balopi’s mobile phones rang unanswered until press time while Ford Moiteela, the ruling party’s chairperson for Francistown region was not available for comment.