With the withdrawal of former Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) Secretary General Ibo Kenosi from the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s primary elections in Shashe West, the incumbent Member of Parliament Fidelis Molao may yet not be off the hook as he will face Onkabetse Daniel in the BDP primary elections.
Even though it is not yet uhuru for Molao, a random survey in the area shows he enjoys greater support from democrats as compared to Daniel who is still marred with the scars of his humiliating loss to Molao five years ago. In 2014 Molao clobbered Daniel by 3,234 votes against Daniel’s 1,520 during the party’s primaries. Daniel did not take the loss well and resigned from the BDP only to return to stand as an independent candidate at the general elections where Molao continued with his onslaught, garnering 6,839 against Daniel’s 1, 835. BCP’s Motlhaleemang Moalosi had garnered 3,037.
BDP members in the area told this publication that they do not trust Daniel’s loyalty to the party given how he resigned after losing to Molao in 2014, only to come back now and ask for their votes. ‘‘How do we trust him when he has shown us that he cannot support a fellow democrat who wins against him but would rather stand as an independent candidate to split the votes that would have all gone to the BDP?’’ an elderly street vendor in Mathangwane mused.
The Botswana Gazette has also been informed that there is a query from Molao’s team regarding Daniel’s candidature in the primaries as despite the Central Committee giving him the go ahead, he never applied for a waiver as is required with all prodigal sons, who leave the party and came back to seek political office.
Molao’s team is leaving no stone unturned with an intensified campaign to defend his parliamentary seat. Top among their selling points is the Shashe West Group Funeral Scheme, the brainchild of Molao which is being administered by the FSG Funeral Services. Molao pays joining fees for members from his pocket and the scheme currently has more than 6000 subscribers. The campaign team has also revealed that among some of the developments credited to Molao is the completion of staff houses at John Nswazi and Tlhaloganyang junior schools which were handed over at the end of July. Makobo and Natale Kgotla shelters have been completed while Mathangwane is at completion stage.
Further, Molao has been praised for pushing for the construction of Police stations in Sebina and Marapong which have been included in the NDP11. Another of Molao’s success stories is the Ntimbale water scheme expansion with tenders for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) awarded in June with the process expected to complete in September. According to the list of achievements put forward by Molao’s campaign team, the maintenance works for the A3 road (Francistown- Nata) has been completed between Francistown and Mathangwane.
Daniel had not responded to questions at the time of going to press. This publication sought to establish Daniel’s counter strategy to Molao’s campaign and what he had to say to those who question his loyalty to the party following his resignation in 2014.