In 2003 Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) introduced the primary elections instead of giving all the powers to the Committee of 16 and Central Committee to choose parliamentary and council candidates, a move hailed as democratic but proved problematic for the party.
The primary elections were coined Bulela Ditswe (Let them Out) which means elections have been opened to everyone to contest but the 2018 elections have taken the literally meaning of the word by spitting out almost half of the cabinet ministers leaving them shocked, a development likely to end their political careers.
The Patriot on Sunday looks at the Shocks, obvious, wannabes and surprises of the primary elections in the 28 constituencies currently held by the BDP.
Thapelo Letsholo –Kanye North
When he announced that he will contest primary elections in Kanye North challenging Patrick Ralotsia, many political analysts didn’t give a chance while others laughed it off but the media guru pulled a shock by winning with 1878. Ralotsia came tumbling behind him with 1398 votes, while the old horse Leach Tlhomelang could only 266 votes. Other candidates Victor Makuku, 293, Julius Kamodi 260 and Kenalemongwe Mopipi got paltry 132 votes.
Lesedi Phuthego – Serowe South
In paper the race to replace Pelonomi Venson Moitoi was between the former MP for the area Tebelelo Seretse and former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Kolaatamo Malefho but on the ground it was Lesedi Phuthego.
The youthful Phuthego who is a chairperson of Palapye Sub-council puled a shock by garnering 2211 with Seretse running after him with 1877 votes followed by the medical doctor Malefho with 1630. Former Radio Botswana journalist Sefhane Phuthego who was trying his luck for the second time garnered 958 votes while the little known Oteng Thankane got 322 votes 322 votes.
Friction Tshoganetso Leuwe- Takatokwane
He is one of the candidates who were not given any chance against the incumbent Ngaka Ngaka who was recently appointed a cabinet minister but like his name he caused political friction in the constituency.
Ngakga who is Minister of Tertiary Education was left licking his political wounds as Leuwe exited him from the constituency by 2077 votes against 2059 while Tlotlo Thomas Batlhopi who was merely exercising his democratic right garnered 727 votes.
Keitseope Motaosane- Thamaga/Kumakwane
The ever smiling Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, Tshenolo Mabeo was quickly reminded that sometimes one has to mourn instead of always laughing by Motaosane as he sent him to the political history with 3842 against 2241.
The BDP members defied the Christian adage that ‘faith saves’ when they ensured that Pastor Biggie Butale is sent to the political gallows by replacing him with chairman of BDP National Youth Committee Simon Moabi. Moabi garnered 2519 votes while Butale who is the assistant Minister of Health garnered 2022. Ruth Nyathi and Tirelo Mukokomani just participated in the elections as they were voted by paltry 48 and 268 votes respectively.
When a student beat the master
Amogelang Mojuta has been the political student of Nonofho Molefhi and at one point he was his campaign manager then later worked at his office and it was anticipated that when Molefhi retires from politics he will take over.
Mojuta didn’t wait for his master to retire voluntarily but forced him to take early retirement by humbling him with 1306 votes against 1125 in the primary elections.
The die was already cast, that BP members in Bobonong want fresh legs in 2019 and though the incumbent Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi looked young they felt that they probably need his experience at the kgotla as one of the elders than in parliament.
Kgobokwe sent Kgathi packing by beating him with 4865 votes against Kgathi’s 2593 votes, which has been regarded as total annihilation.
Liakat Kably- Letlhakeng-Lephephe
The free spirited and outspoken Kably proved that in politics age aren’t nothing but a number by walloping the five candidates who tried to wrestle the constituency from him. Only Lefoko Kegopotswe came closer to the man who once likened former President ian Khama to Jesus Christ by garnering 1179 votes.
Bernard Bolele -Mahalapye West
The BDP members in Mahalapye West corrected the injustice mented on Bolele in 2013 when he was broad light cheated in the primary elections. It was clear that Molefhe’s days were numbered as the former army officer was mostly quiet during parliamentary debates, proving that politics were just too much for him. Bolele won by 3791 while the quiet incumbent MP Molefhe came behind tiredly with 1489 votes.
Molebatsi Molebatsi- Mmadinare
The signs were visible even before Kefentse Mzwinila was sworn in as the MP for Mmadinare that his political years as a elected legislator will be limited to 5 years. His elevation to become Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services didn’t help the situation as Molebatsi Molebatsi his days in the black BMW 7 Series is limited to 14 months.
Molebatsi got 2783 votes followed by Mzwinila with 2276 while diamonds failed to shine forever for the former Debswana Senior manager Barulaganyi Mogotsi who also got 2276.
Dr Edwin Dikoloti-Mmathethe-Molapowabojang
Former area MP Peter Siele probably danced like a youth on his first outing as the results were announced as the man who reminded his relevance in politics has expired Dr Alfred Madigele was beaten by veterinarian Dr Dikoloti.
The writing was on the wall that Dikoloti will snatch the constituency from Madigele as he has long made his presence in the constituency while Madigele was busy with his ministerial duties.
Dikoloti retired Madigele from politics with 3369 votes while Madigele got 3062 votes Pelonomi Namogang and Diane Gopolang exercised their democratic right as enshrined in the BDP constitution only for them to come with 128 and 111 votes respectively.
Dorcas Makgato- Sefhare-Ramokgonami
With the retirement of the country’s political heavyweights Pelonomi Venson Moitoi and Botlogile Tshireletso, the onus of promoting women in politics is being carried by the militant Makgato.
It was obvious that she was going to humiliate her challenge the question was by how many votes, and she gave the answer by garnering 4638 while Kitso Seloma came behind limping with 1635 votes.
Tshekedi Khama -Serowe West
Behind the computer political analysts and social media was awash with predictions that Moemedi Dijeng is going to end the Khama dynasty in politics. This was compounded by Tshekedi’s whaling and taking the party to court that Dijeng should be vetted out as he violated primary elections rules and regulations.
TK as he is commonly known proved that he is still a political heavy weight by teaching Dijeng and former cabinet minister Keletso Rakhudu the ones and twos of politics especially in Gammangwato.
TK garnered 2797 votes while Dijeng came second with 1594 and Rakhudu was sent back to his farm with 462 votes.
Fidelis Molao-Shashe West
When one of the candidate former Botswana Teachers Union Secretary General Ibo Kenosi dropped from the race and pledged to lead campaign for Molao it was clear that it is obvious.
His challenger political vagabond Onkabetse Daniel who participated in the primaries in 2013 and lost then stood as independent candidate was again thrashed by 3314 votes against 2500.
Talita Monnakgotla- Kgalagadi North
Most of the people only become aware of the name of the MP for Kgalagadi North Itumeleng Moipisi when he was appointed assistant Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services.
His political obituary was written all over his face as he walked through the corridors of parliament as it was obvious the BDP members in Kgalagadi won’t bring him back as their candidate.
They joined the people of Sefhare-Ramokgonami by ensuring that they bring a woman and chose Monnakgotla by voting her with 2139 while the quiet Moipisi got 1696 votes.
Even himself might have been surprised by the results even requesting recounting or not accepting them looking at his quietness and his body posture which showed someone who has been pushed into politics. The Assitant Minister of Presidential affairs won by 2050 followed by Luckson Likokoto whom luck was not on his side as his name suggest with Mwanota Kachana participated in the elections with only 319 votes.
Sam Brooks- Kgalagadi South
He pulled the biggest surprise by claiming the political scalp of the soft spoken Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Franc Van Der Westhuizen.
Prince Maele-Lerala Maunatlala
When he was dropped from cabinet by President Masisi many wrote his political history but the blunder prone Maele pulled a surprise by retaining his candidacy beating the political jezebel Sethabelo Modukanele by 3507 against 3351. Modukanele who defected to BDP recently after leaving it for Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) was the favorite to win.
He is one of the incumbent MP who was tipped to lose the primary elections as he was challenged by former area MP Jacob Nkate who have been regarded as political heavyweight. Kwerepe ensured that Nkate leave politics as a humiliated man beating him by 3208 against 2572. Nkate has since announced that he doesn’t want anything associated with politics.
Bagalatia Arone –Okavango
When he defected to BDP, many said that he is been waited at the constituency by one the political schemer Mbahahauka Kambimba and that Arone must forget about representing BDP in 2019.
A political mastermind, Arone made Kambimba eat political humble pie by severly thrashing him with 3432 against 1318.
The dangerously ambitious
Polson Majaga- Nata Gweta
Ahead of the elections former Director at Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Lawrence Ookeditse saw himself as the area MP of Nata-Gweta sending panicking waves to the incumbent Majaga.
The overly ambitious Ookeditse who posted on social media about his campaign was humbled by the people of Nata-Gweta sending a clear message to him that he is not yet ready to lead them.
Majaga retained the candidacy by being voted by 2475 democrats with Gadibolae Nlashwa coming second with 1177 votes while Ookeditse came third limping with 951 votes.
The people of Nata-Gweta also informed Ditiro Majadibodu, Oliphant Mfa , Ryner Makosha and Mbanga Mbanga that their time in politics is over and that they must try something else as they registered 414, 109, 83 and 108 respectively.
Moiseraela Goya- Palapye
Isaac Maforaga and Moses Kesamang either failed to get proper advice or they rejected it that they are wasting their hard earned P2000 by challenging Goya in the BDP primaries.
The two of them failed to come closer to 2780 votes the assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry as their combined votes totaled to 1240 which is not even half of what Goya got.
Monametsi Kalayamotho 1432
DUMIZWENI MESHACK MTHIMKHULU 1539
David Sethato 1037
Raymond Molatole 1149
THATO TSHWENEYAGAE 1438
Edward Stanley 864
Lazarus Lekgoanyana 1300
ECCO BURU DITSHUPO MAJE 2023
James Lefoane 399
Tassman Cebani 556
Timothy Tlhalerwa 1456
Gobusamang Rampa 1427
Motsumi Madisa 478
Shangano Kubanji 63
MABUSE MOPATI PULE 1695
OABILE N. REGOENG 1434
Bashi Kgakge 650
Botsalo Rabogadi 237
MOITLAMO TEXAS SELEMA 33
MOSHUPA – MANYANA
HON. KARABO SOCRAAT GARE 4952
Stephen Kganela 796
Moabi Bagaketse 288
Edison Woto 1847
Modie Thamani 1196
Bokete Phie 328
MOKGETHI ISHMAEL 2069
MAKGALEMELE PHILLIP DIKGANG 2522
Lebodi Gaboyo 916
David Tibe 1489
Sean Sebele 1929
MMusi Kurusa 400
SAMSON GUMA MOYO 2730
OLOPENG THAPELO 3392
Tapela Setshege 1320
Peter Williams 320
Botho Ntirang 565
DR. THAPELO MATSHEKA 1376
Kamal Jacobs 1219
Patrick Kebailele 218
Sadique Kebonang 1073
Lone Bome 66
MOKWALEDI IGNNATIUS MOSWAANE 1408
Kago Phofuetsile 104
Samuel Kelaotswe 539
Tebogo Toteng 348
Cornelius Gopolang 103
Raoboy Mpuang 367
KGOTLA AUTLWETSE 3257
Puma Matlhware 2854
KOSTANTINOS MARKUS 2214
Sianang Nkgogelang 310
Boikhutso Toteng 167
Gakenosi Force Mpho 1149
Buti Billy 1312
James Kgalajwe 786