Vanquished Member of Parliament for Bobonong Shaw Kgathi says he does not accept the results of the weekend primary elections. The incumbent MP was defeated by Francisco Kgoboko who secured a victory by a margin of 3810. Speaking to the Botswana Gazette from China where he travelled on an official trip immediately after being declared the loser on Sunday, Kgathi confirmed that he had informed the returning officer that he did not accept the election outcome because of what he termed ‘‘gross irregularities’’ during the voting process.
Kgathi told this publication on Monday evening that he intends to lodge an official complaint with the party Central Committee within seven days as dictated by the party election regulations. Even though he would not be drawn into discussing the details of the irregularities he was complaining over, this publication understands he alleges that some BDP members were intimidated into voting for his opponent. ‘‘I cannot share with you the details of my protest before I furnish the party with an official complaint because I want to make sure I follow the rules and regulations of the party’’, Kgathi said. When asked what he was hoping for in his protest, Kgathi responded curtly, ‘‘obviously I want a rerun’’.
Kgathi has been fighting tooth and nail to retain his position as BDP parliamentary candidate but after serving 3 consecutive terms (15 years) in parliament, democrats in Bobonong decided on Saturday to replace him with the youthful Kgoboko who has been campaigning vigorously in the constituency through various initiatives, including the hosting of former President Ian Khama who launched the Francisco Kgoboko Trust in Bobirwa and used the opportunity to ask Babirwa to replace Kgathi with Kgoboko. Kgoboko garnered 5595 votes while Kgathi trailed behind with 1785.
Kgathi who turns 57 years in October has been MP for Bobonong since 2004. In 2009 he was appointed Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture until 2014 when President Ian Khama appointed him Minister of Defence, Justice and Security. Prior to joining parliament, he had held various positions sports related positions, including sports master at junior and senior schools and was also a Director in the Department of Sports and Recreation and Supreme Council for Sports.