The name Albert Mbayi might not ring a bell to most people, but the Kalakamati-born Young Turk is taking on one of Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) tycoons Jagdish Shah for the position of Deputy Treasurer. Visiting him at his office, the young business man is confident that he will swim with the sharks and tame them, come July at the BDP elective congress in Tonota. He came to prominence during the campaign for the Rasesa council ward by-election early this year at a time when the ruling party was losing every by-election even in its stronghold. Mbayi was appointed the campaign manager for Daniel Molokwe and many thought the ruling party will just honour the elections as the united opposition would annihilate it. Against all odds he plotted and schemed together with his campaign team on how to outdo the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which had teamed up with the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and ultimately landed a devastating blow to them. On February 12 against all odds BDP retained the Rasesa ward with Daniel Molokwe garnering 664 votes to BCP’s 541 with four votes spoiled. He said the campaign drained them as they have to use their own resources and this ignited a desire in him to challenge for the position of deputy treasurer in order to learn from the veteran Satar Dada. “I realised that we need to consider decentralising and empowering regions to raise funds for themselves especially for use during elections,” said the soft-spoken politician from Kgatleng West.
If the regions can be helped to vigorously raise funds for themselves with proper monitoring system that could help them not to be heavily dependent on the mother party during elections, he said. This, he said, can only be influenced by someone who is within the central committee and holding a relevant position, hence he chose to challenge for the deputy treasurer position. Mbayi said it is high time the party partnered with private developers and develop their plots around the country to generate money for the party. “We should also consider taking leaf from labour movements which have cooperatives which help members at the same time raising funds for the party,” he said noting that BDP has numbers. The 42-year-old businessman said that another issue that is of great concern to him is lack of empowerment schemes for the youth and indigenous Batswana who have been rendered spectators in the economy of their country. “A lot needs to be done to empower the youth and indigenous Batswana. As deputy treasurer I will fully advocate for government to seriously give jobs to Batswana because people are now losing hope in us,” he said.
Recently the Specially Elected MP Mephato Reatile lamented that Batswana are left out on mega projects especially the construction of the Kazungula and Mohembo bridges when speaking at the Public Accounts Committee meeting. Mbayi shared the same sentiments. Currently Mbayi is a member of the Finance Committee and chairs its investment arm and is happy with his performance. “We managed to visit countries like Mozambique and United Arab Emirates (UAE) to lure investors to Botswana,” he said. When the campaign began for the BDP elective congress, Mbayi was associated with the Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s lobby list but he has since decided not to align with any lobby group. “I am for party unity and history has shown that after the congresses these lobby groups they take a shape of factions which are a threat to the party unity,” he reasoned. Mbayi said h he has covered all the 14 regions and addressed most the councillors around the country in his campaign.