Kgatleng just like Gaborone has always been dominated by the opposition. With the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) joining forces with the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), it seemed pretty obvious that they (UDC) were favourites to win the Mochudi East parliamentary by-election.
However, the UDC through Moagi Molebatsi did not do much to wrestle the constituency they lost when the late Isaac Davids defected to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) last year.
It was a sweet victory for Molebatsi and his party after they defeated the BDP which had a stronger campaign which was led by the Vice President Slumber Tsogwane and Cabinet ministers. Molebatsi was voted by 4,402 people, BDP’s Mpho Moruakgomo managed 3,284 votes, Independent candidate Japhta Radibe got 130 votes while 76 were spoilt. Both Moruakgomo and Radebe lost to Davids in 2014.
While over 20,000 people were in the voter’s roll, only 7,892 voted. Molebatsi’s win boosted the party’s morale as there had been a lot of talk about instability. “They have been talking, writing untruths in the media but we still won. Our voters are smart. They do not believe everything they read in the papers, hence we won this. We will do the same in 2019 and take power and their papers will not be bought by anyone,” UDC president, Duma Boko said shortly after Molebatsi gave a brief interview to the media.
Speaking to the
Molebatsi said it was a sign that the UDC will clinch power. He said Bakgatla understand themselves and have taken a deliberate decision to reject the BDP which he said has made them suffer for many years. Radibe accepted the results and said he would continue contesting for the seat. He however said he would not being doing it on his own as he would decide on a party to join. Obviously disappointed, Moruakgomo was nowhere to be seen at the counting centre.
The celebrations, which had started while counting was still on, continued as the party held a rally to celebrate their victory. The UDC will face an uphill battle as they now look to win Moshupa constituency from the BDP. The seat fell vacant when President Mokgweetsi Masisi ascended to the presidency.