It became evident at Saturday’s Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) candidate launch that some members are not supportive of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) in the Moshupa/Manyana constituency.
The event that was scheduled for 2pm, ended up starting at around five towards the evening.
UDC affiliates include the BMD, Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Botswana People’s Party (BPP) and Botswana National Front (BNF) and it was mostly BMD members who attended the event. Few from the BCP and BNF had come out in support of the chosen UDC candidate.
It was unclear as to who was to launch the candidate, Jonathan Sethono as some members had said BMD president, Sidney Pilane would perform the launch, as Boko would not be available.
However, with reports that Pilane was unwell, Boko had to chip in to rescue the day.
An announcement was made that he would arrive leading to more people gathering to see the ‘intellectual gladiator’. He arrived to whistles and ululations. Shortly after his arrival, Boko took to the stage.Already, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is ahead in the campaigns and is likely to win with big a margin. The two parties; BNF and BCP have been complaining that BMD does not have structures on the ground and therefore want the constituency to be given to BNF.
Some residents who spoke to this publication said they would rather not vote than be forced to vote for Sethono while they preferred Ngaka Monageng.
Addressing the gathering, Boko dismissed claims that other parties were not supportive of the BMD candidate. Boko who has in the past been accused of being sympathetic to Pilane at a recent press conference told
His account, however, differed with that of the BNF spokesperson, Justin Hunyepa. Hunyepa had said they were yet to reach a decision on who the constituency and that of Lentsweletau/Mmopane should be allocated to.
“We are sending a quality candidate to represent us in Sethono. I urge you that no matter what they try to do to lure you to the ruling party, you should stay firm on your stance. I for one will rather remain in the opposition alone, I will never be bought,” he said.
Boko said Sethono was a quality candidate who has worked as a teacher and even became a school head. He said the latter also served in the education ministry in the past. He said Sethono would represent the people better and should not take money when it is offered him.
For his part, Sethono promised electorates that he understood their problems and would advocate for development in the constituency.
“I will speak for equitable distribution of developments so that no area is left out in the constituency as it is the case now. Some areas are suffering, people do not have water and many other necessities,” he said.
Sethono will on Saturday face off with Karabo Gare of the BDP for the parliamentary seat left vacant by Mokgweetsi Masisi when he ascended to the presidency of the country.