Last Updated
Tuesday 31 March 2015, 18:00 pm.
Hobona has a chance in Tonota North

FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) candidate for the Tonota North parliamentary by-election, Dr Habaudi Njiro Hobona is widely tipped to emerge victorious, come September 4.
By Staff Writer Wed 01 Apr 2015, 12:35 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Hobona has a chance in Tonota North








Hobona will be slugging it out with Fidelis Mmilili Molao of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Mbayani Phalalo of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin or (MELS) although the latter seems to be not visible in the contest.

In last year's general election, the late Baledzi Gaolathe won the constituency by garnering 5,811 against Hobona's 3,067 votes. But given the dynamics of politics, history might not be the determining factor in deciding the Tonota constituency.

Since the last general election, the BDP split resulting in the birth of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) has presented a great challenge to the BDP after more than four decades of its existence.

Many MPs and entire structures bolted to the BMD stable, taking along with them thousands of followers.There are reports that some councillors that were loyal to the BDP have changed their allegiance to the BMD.

Expectations are that Hobona could capitalise on the problems that are currently haunting the BDP. That the BMD will support Hobona in the by-election makes it suggestible that the BDP could lose the constituency.

The many BDP followers that have moved to the BMD are likely to vote for Hobona in the upcoming by-election following the decision by other opposition parties of the Botswana National Front (BNF), BMD and the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) to support Hobona.

It is worth noting that many of the BMD followers have been the ones who assisted the BDP retain the constituency in the past elections, and their joining forces with BCP is likely to guarantee victory for Hobona. The recent turnout at Hobona's launch in Borolong has also suggested that she has a huge following in the area and it also gave her the opportunity to try and win the hearts of the Tonota North residents who seem to have given up on the ruling BDP.

Hobona is also likely to get mileage from some of the BDP supporters whose candidates had lost in the party primaries.

The fact that the Tonota North constituency has remained underdeveloped for so many years, under the representation of the BDP, will not work for Molao possibly giving Hobona the green light especially because many constituents are now itching for change.

Villages like Borolong, Chadibe, Makobo, Natale, Jamataka, Matsitama, Mabesekwa, Matakana, Mokobilo, for instance, are still reeling in poverty. The roads in these villages are dusty and health facilities are very poor.

The other problem is the high crime rate, especially stock theft. These factors are seen by many as a disadvantage to the BDP.

The area also depends on neighbouring urban areas such as Francistown for other amenities. This on its own gives a boost to Hobona and many voters believe that by voting for her the area could breath fresh air. It remains to be seen if the BDP will be able to use its 'grand' strategy against the BCP on the September 4 by-election, which has aroused a lot of interest from within and outside the constituency.



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