Ramotswa constituency used to be one of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) strongholds until 2014 when Botswana Congress Party (BCP) won the seat through the current MP Samuel Rantuana.
In an attempt to reclaim all constituencies won by the opposition the ruling BDP held early primary elections in those areas and at Ramotswa former mining executive Lefoko Moagi raised his hand to reclaim the seat for his party. Moagi garnered 2275 votes against Lentswe Monare who secured only 1102 votes. To most he might come as a green horn and an unknown quantity of sorts but he wows that his constituency has made a good choice in him. A mining engineer by profession, he has held various managerial positions in the country’s top mining companies. He became actively involved in politics in 1997 while working at Debswana Mine in Jwaneng. “I was part of the campaign team for Peter Meswele who was contesting for the chairpersonship of BDP National Youth Executive Committee. I attended the Gantsi Congress where President Ian Khama defeated Ponatshego Kedikilwe for the party chairmanship position,” he said. The 46-year-old Ramotswa-born has participated in most of the BDP congresses. He had preferred to work from behind the scenes. The most memorable congress that he attended was the 2009 congress which was termed ‘Kgola disana’ which gave birth to BDP’s first offspring Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). Moagi, a former Mining Manager at Boteti Mining (Pty) Ltd, said that it has always been his intention to retire early and start his own business and did that in 2016. He has also held the same position at Mupane Gold Mining (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of Galane Gold Ltd. “I was approached in 2009 and 2014 to contest the parliamentary elections under the BDP ticket but turned that down as I was not ready. I accepted the request last year,” he said, adding that it was an easy decision because he was now involved in community work, as a board member Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana, Bamalete Farmers Association as well as member of Adante Choral Choir.
Moagi comes at a time when Balete are at loggerheads with government over the Forest Hill farm and some political pundits are adamant that this might be deciding factor in 2019. “I have and will always fight for equitable compensation or meaningful participation by Morafe in the envisaged development within the farm,” he insisted. One of the reasons that the BDP lost the constituency to BCP, according to Moagi, was lack of visibility in the area. “People want visibility and engagement and that is what we are doing now. We are taking everyone on board,” said Moagi. Moagi, who holds Executive Master of Business Administration, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, said one of the main issues that he is currently addressing is the clustering of the 11 wards into companies trading in their own ward niche market and having a board which they will all report to. “For example Mogobane can specialise in horticulture while Mokoboloto can do brick laying with Otse developing tourism site and Mogobane with its Dam and the plantation,” he said. Business cubicles at Taung, which are owned by Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) and currently not working, can be re-opened and used as incubators for business mostly owned by the youth, women and people with disabilities, said Moagi. “We are having workshops and seminars where the relevant people are invited to impart entrepreneurial knowledge to the youth,” he said. The soft-spoken Moagi said he has already approached some investors to set up factories along the railway line and one them is an oil making company. Ramotswa and its catchment areas are rich in heritage and historical sites but they have been a concern that they have failed to tap into this tourism market. Some of the sites include Mannyelanong Vulture Sanctuary and Baratani Hills in Otse, Mogobane Dam and the Plantation and Segoro Gorge. Moagi, who has a Master of Science in Mining specialising in Blasting Efficiencies from University of The Witwatersrand in South Africa, revealed that he has already started working with the communities on these sites to see how they can fully develop them and tap into the tourism market. Ramotswa Development Plan 2008-2032, according to Moagi, must be reviewed to accommodate the requirements of the Revised National Development Plan. In 2014 Rantuane snatched the constituency by 7307 votes against Odirile Motlhale who got 6689 while UDC came third with 2412 and independent candidate Joseph T. Sorinyane got 1398 votes.