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Mochudi East can go either way

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Moruakgomo
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it is expecting more than 80% of people who registered to vote in 2014 general elections for Mochudi East constituency to cast vote in tomorrow’s by-election.

A total of 20,356 had registered to vote in 2014 for the constituency and only 17,452 voted.

“Forty seven polling stations will be open in the morning. Everything is going well except that some people have lost their voter registration cards and our office is trying its best to assist them,” IEC spokesperson, Osupile Maroba said.

“We have dispatched 10 officers to assist people who want duplication cards. The constituency is very wide and the results might come out on Sunday morning or afternoon.”

Maroba said Bakgatla normally turn up in large numbers during elections, either general or by-election.

In all general elections, the constituency has never had less than 15,000 voters.

The two parties, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) are doing everything in their power to snatch the constituency. The constituency has been a stronghold of the Botswana National Front (BNF), a key member of the UDC.

Each party has been busy with house-to-house campaigns and rallies for the last two months trying hard to find their ways into the hearts and minds of voters. Any party, which has done enough groundwork and is able to locate where 2014 voters are, would stand a chance to win the area. 

UDC is standing a good chance when looking at its performance from 2004 to 2014 and is banking on Botswana Congress Party (BCP) supporters to win the area.

The veteran, Mpho Moruakgomo is representing the BDP while Bright Molebatsi stands for UDC. Moruakgomo is not new in the game, since he has been representing BDP since way back, but every time failing to win.

The constituency has 11 wards. The UDC has seven and the BDP four. Now that the BCP has joined the UDC, their combined

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votes are 11,352 while the BDP trails behind at a distant 5,941.

Isaac Mabiletsa, who has been representing the BCP in the last general elections, is one of the UDC campaign managers and his party central committee is expected to conduct house-to-house campaign on both Thursday and Friday.

In 2014, the late Isaac Davids of the UDC garnered 6,824, Moruakgomo of the BDP got 5,941, Isaac Mabiletsa of the BCP got 4,528 and an independent candidate Japhta Radibe was voted by 159.

The BNF spokesperson, Justin Hunyepa said he is confident of clinching the constituency as all who stood for party primaries and members of BCP execute the campaign.

“Our candidate is also leading his campaign and he has been working with Bakgatla before in issues that affect them mostly. Bakgatla are not happy with a lot of issues such as shortage of water in areas like Bokaa, Sikwane, amongst others while they have Bokaa and Molatedi Dams. The sewerage system is also bad. They have long asked the government to build or renovate their hospital, which was built by the residents and church but nothing has been done till today. Again there is shortage of drugs in clinics,” Hunyepa said. He said the councillors for the area are also helping to locate where people who had registered for elections are.   “We are doing pretty well and numbers favour us,” he added.

The BDP communication chairperson, Thapelo Pabalinga also exuded confidence, saying his party would snatch the constituency because members in the area are united more than before.

“Our members are giving us good feedback everyday and the house to house campaign is on. The residents of the area are the ones leading the campaigns,” Pabalinga said.



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