Mmegi Online :: Businessmanís tears of joy as UDC wins
Last Updated
Tuesday 21 August 2018, 18:00 pm.
Businessmanís tears of joy as UDC wins

FRANCISTOWN: A local businessman abruptly broke into tears as the returning officer, Omphile Gabatshwane declared Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) the winner of the weekend Phillip Matante East ward by-election.
By Ryder Gabathuse Chakalisa Dube Tue 26 Apr 2016, 15:32 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Businessmanís tears of joy as UDC wins

Anchor Thite, a Francistowner, did the unexpected at Montsamaisa Junior Secondary School hall when he broke into tears as the winning UDC and its partners, burst into song and dance as they celebrated their hard-earned victory.

UDC, represented by Uyapo Nyeku, retained the ward after garnering 530 votes against the 391 of the ruling party’s Peter Nare. Four votes were declared spoiled.

Thite appeared like a man shell shocked by the results, as he quickly ran out of the hall, where he cried before he shifted to his car, which was parked a stone’s throw from the hall, where the counting of ballot papers had been conducted.

Thite, an elderly man explained yesterday that his were “tears of joy” in recognition of the efforts put by his friend MP Wynter Mmolotsi, the UDC and the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) teams.

“I was elated and what you saw copiously teeming down my cheeks were tears of joy. I was completely overwhelmed by joy and not sadness,” he said.

Thite congratulated the UDC and its BCP ally for having put up a brave fight in their quest to retain the ward against the determined and financially muscled Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

“The BDP wanted the ward desperately and upon realising that the opposition’s efforts had come to fruition convincingly, I could not hold my joy,” he explained.

To him, that was the best way to celebrate the opposition victory, at a time when there were reports that the BDP had splashed big monies in an effort to win the hearts and souls of the electorate.

What excited Thite the most was that the weekend opposition victory was testament that “money can’t buy love” for the BDP.

As for the UDC councillor-elect, Nyeku, his party deserved the win because it had done everything it could to retain the ward.

“Whilst we traversed the


length and breadth of the ward soliciting for votes as united opposition parties, the BDP chose to take shortcuts by using money to woo voters to their side which has proved futile,” said the ecstatic 37-year-old Nyeku.

He said although they were under resourced compared to the ruling BDP, people settled for them knowing that in the long term his voice would bring developments to the ward.

He promised to start work immediately so that he does not disappoint as his brother, the late Shadreck Nyeku had been the people’s favourite. BCP lead campaigner in the UDC team, Vain Mamela attributed the opposition win to unity that prevailed during the preparatory stages.

“We won the ward because of unity and hard work. We capitalised on the working class who are unhappy with the BDP-led government. Two weeks before the by-election, we knew we were going to win because we had covered much ground,” said Mamela who also claimed that the BDP used money in a bid to attract voters to their side.

“We countered the BDP efforts by sending a strong message to the voters that they should accept the money but not vote for the BDP.”

Nare on the other hand blamed his loss on what he called many mini campaigns within the BDP. “This made it difficult to effectively coordinate our campaign. I am however, optimistic that if we continue working hard results will improve,” said Nare.

The BDP campaign manager and MP for Tati East, Samson Moyo Guma was forthright that the people had spoken.

“We have to respect the will of the people. In every election there has to be a winner.

Discussing the reasons why we lost is not necessary at this time as we now look forward to working with Nyeku, as the party in government,” he said without elaborating.

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