PALAPYE: Area Gabathusi who made history last year dethroning the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) from Boikago/Madiba ward has not accepted defeat in his party's primaries.
He has vowed to tender an appeal to the central committee.
Gabathusi had won the ward after a second bite of the cherry last year when he sailed past Thabo Dimeku of the BDP in the ward’s by-election through 606 votes against the latter’s 503 votes.
He had previously lost the ward in the 2014 general elections to the late Ritchie Kenosi. The ward was considered a BDP stronghold as the ruling party has held it since the establishment of the ward.
But over the weekend, Gabathusi marginally lost the primaries to Martha Lebang. He received 150 votes to Lebang’s 155 votes. The results were a bitter pill to swallow for Gabathusi who felt the party did nothing to protect him after spending a short period as a councillor.
“Campaign drains the wallet and my principals know better,” he said. “Imagine I just come from two serious campaigns in a short period, in the general elections and the by-election and I still had to campaign in the primaries and yet 2019 is here,” he said, adding that the party was not fair in allowing Lebang to stand in the ward.
He said the party also failed him by also allowing Lebang, in her capacity as the Letswapo region secretary to contest elections without tendering resignation in a position he feels renders her conflicted.
“All the correspondents reaches her before they are distributed among the members of the party and that makes her conflicted, how could she be allowed
The disgruntled Gabathusi also pointed out that his comrades used underhand tactics in the last weeks to dent his image.
He said he is holding proof against his fellow comrades from the BCP who took to social media to publicise propaganda against him and thus de-campaigning him.
He said it is against section 12.1 and 12.2 of the party’s primary election rules and regulations, which his appeal will be based upon.
“They publicised that I am defecting to the BDP and that is character assassination and it caused uncertainty to the voters, hence the marginal loss. I will invoke section 12.1 and 12.2 to lodge an appeal,” he said.
Lebang on the other hand said the elections were free and fair. She quashed the rumours that linked her with the “propaganda” against her fellow comrade that reached social media before the primaries, but admitted she has seen some detrimental posts against her colleague.
She clarified that in the party they are not forced to resign their positions when contesting elections, but they cannot be active. She said she was excused from her position by the region during the elections to allow her to contest.
“I have got nothing to do with those issues in the social media but I have seen them. People dig deep for things that are damaging in this period, its unfortunate, but that is the nature of politics,” she said.