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Was candidate bought out?

SHARE   |   Monday, 20 October 2014   |   By Othusitse Tlhobogang

Former Gaborone Bonnington North parliamentary hopeful Poloko Pitwane this week endorsed his opponent and Umbrella for Democratic Change president Duma Boko ahead of the next week’s general elections.

This has sparked fears that Pitwane may have been bought out of the Bonnington North constituency contest to make way for Boko. Pitwane confirmed the endorsement in an interview with this publication on Friday afternoon.

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After failing to register his name during the official nomination submissions two weeks ago, there have been reports that Pitwane has betrayed his Youth Needs a Voice Movement. A letter that circulated in the media authored by one Martin Saddam Moagi alleged that Pitwane deliberately delayed his official nomination submission which was ultimately rejected. The letter said Pitwane met with certain individuals who wanted to lure him into supporting Boko.   

Another source also alleged that the young politician met with some UDC sympathises in a meeting with a prominent Gaborone lawyer at his office to discuss the matter on the eve of the nominations. The source revealed that two meetings were held before the nomination submissions and that Pitwane had been offered P300 000 to buy him out of the parliamentary race. It went on to say even though Pitwane threatened to take IEC to court after failing with the nomination he knew every well that it will not be possible until after the elections.

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However, Pitwane dismissed these allegations as baseless and a way of tarnishing his name. He insisted that the Independent Electoral Commission was to blame for the misfortune that befell him saying it was the commission’s tactics that delayed his submissions to see him out of the elections. Pitwane, who sounded emotional, said that he has been sabotaged. He said this is a further ploy to try and put a final nail to his political career. “These allegations are untrue, they are just trying to destroy my political career even before it can start,” he said.

The young politician revealed that after his failed nomination, a lot of politicians approached him to lure him to their parties. He said that he did not and will never approach any political party. “I can confirm I had meetings with different parties even Botswana Congress Party but there has never been an issue of money on the table,” he said.

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He said that he knew such allegations will come against him and he was prepared for them. “We have proved many times that the letter that was written was not authentic. All the times they said I met with the people they allege I meant, we proved I was somewhere else. On the said Tuesday I was at a parliamentary candidate debate and on Thursday I was working on my nomination papers,” he said.  

The Youth Needs a Voice leader indicated that he made the decision on the endorsement looking at the manifestos of the parties on the youth not money. He explained that BCP’s manifesto talked a little about this issue hence his decision to go with UDC.  The endorsement means Pitwane and his supporters will now vote for Boko come October 24, 2014. However he explained that what they have with UDC is just a pact for this general election only.

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The freely talking young man said he will be definitely contesting the 2019 general elections. “We are not joining any political party but we are just in a pact right now. In the next coming elections I will be contesting,” he clarified. Pitwane’s endorsements for Boko have boosted the UDC president’s chances of wrestling Bonnington north constituency from the BDP. Pitwane boast of more than 3800 supporters and believe with them he was going to win the constituency. This is exactly what some thought UDC feared for should Pitwane stand for the elections. 



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