Nine Ministers did not survive the rumble of Bulela Ditswe
The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) conducted the second and final leg of its primary elections this past weekend which claimed the scalps of nine (9) Cabinet Ministers and four (4) ordinary members of parliament. The primary elections, commonly referred to as Bulela Ditswe by BDP members, were held in the 39 constituencies currently under the ruling party and attracted an unprecedented high turnout despite the fact that BDP supporters who are civil servants were barred from participating. The high turnout forced the BDP Electoral Board to extend voting hours from 6pm to midnight on Saturday.
The first parliamentary results to be announced in the early hours of Sunday came from Selebi Phikwe where incumbent MP Nonofo Molefhi became the first casualty as he was defeated by former Mayor Amogelang Majuta.
Other Cabinet Ministers who have been rejected by the majority of BDP members are Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi who was thrashed by Francisco Kgobowe. In Kanye North, political newcomer Thapelo Letsholo ended the political career of Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security Patrick Ralotsia. Minister of Health and Wellness Alfred Madigele will not get the opportunity to seek a second term in parliament because BDP members in Mmathethe-Molapowabojang have decided to give the mandate to Edwin Gorataone Dikoloti.
Minister of Tertiary Education Ngaka Ngaka has been rejected by the majority of BDP voters in Takatokwane as they ushered in Friction Leuwe. Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Kefentswe Mzwinila’s political career will be cut short by Molebatsi Molebatsi who received the nod from majority of BDP members in Mmadinare. Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development Tshenolo Mabeo has been denied the opportunity for parliamentary comeback in the next general elections as BDP voters in Thamaga-Kumakwane preferred Mataosane Keitseope.
Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness Biggie Butale will not be able to represent the BDP at Tati West as the voters replaced him with Simon Moabi. Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Frans Van Der Westhuizen has been shown the door by Kgalagadi South in favour of Sam Justice Brooks. BDP backbenchers who have been rejected by the majority of members are Lelatisitswe Sethomo of Boteti East who will be replaced by Oboetswe Gabotlale, former minister Sadique Kebonang who will be replaced by Thapelo Matsheka in Lobatse, Itumeleng Moipisi who has been replaced by businesswoman Talita Monnakgotla in Kgalagadi North and Molefe Joseph who hands back the baton to Bernard Bolele in Mahalapye West.