I am here to stay – Kwelagobe

Botswana’s longest serving Member of Parliament (MP), Daniel Kwelagobe has said he will not be stepping down from politics anytime soon as he had previously planned quitting after the 2014-19 term. Those wishing to take over the seat that he has occupied for the 45 years might have to wait a little longer or consider other options.

During his launch in Molepolole over the weekend, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chairman said after praises he got from various speakers, he realised that he could still go further. “I was thinking of throwing in the towel but after praising speeches from Botsalo Ntuane, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri and former President Festus Mogae, I believe I am still relevant. That means I will not be stepping down anytime soon, I shall continue serving my people,” he said. Kwelagobe dismissed criticism aimed the BDP, which claim that the party is not doing anything for Batswana. He said when the BDP took power in 1966, there was virtually nothing in terms of development and the Party has over the years improved the lives of Batswana, providing them with clean drinking water and construction of roads among other things.

For his part, the man who recently made headlines for criticising the current government, former President Festus Mogae urged Bakwena to vote in large numbers to ensure that Kwelagobe and his councilors continue where they left. Mogae dismissed the opposition as just making noise and he is confident of victory. He was in Molepolole to launch Kwelagobe and his eight council candidates.
The BDP political veteran won the BDP primary elections which were held late last year by 1, 624 votes to Monageng’s 1, 358. Monageng then complained of irregularities during the elections; he called for a re-run but was unsuccessful.

Kwelagobe, who defeated Botswana National Front’s David Mhiemang in the 2009 General Elections by 5, 589 votes to 1, 936, will face Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Dr Tlamelo Mmatli in the upcoming General Elections. Botswana Congress Party President, Dumelang Saleshando has said his party which will not be represented in the constituency and they will rally behind the UDC.