As was expected, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has retained the Moshupa/Manyana constituency.
Karabo Gare of the BDP won with 4,093 votes against the Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) Jonathan Sethono who got 1,530 votes.The parliamentary seat fell vacant after Mokgweetsi Masisi ascended to the presidency of the country in April.
Over 16,000 people were eligible to vote, with over 13,000 having voted in 2014. The expectation was that many people would cast their vote, especially after Gare won the BDP primaries with almost 3,000 votes.
It was however not the case with the polling stations having a lousy day.
During his acceptance speech after being declared the winner, Gare said: “Like I said before, I will continue where Masisi left off. Some of the issues include water problems which have besieged the constituency. Another burning issue is that of the hospital, which the residents have long waited for. I will also tackle issues of unemployment of young people,” he said.
Gare’s campaign manager, legislator Ngaka Ngaka said they had worked hard to win the constituency.
“We always knew that we would win. We worked very hard even though we did not get many people voting. People knew we were going to win and decided that they would stay home as they knew victory was certain,” he said.
“I am happy with our performance. It was just the beginning and I believe I will come back stronger in 2019. The only challenge that we had was that people in rural areas are yet to accept the opposition.
We will work on that,” he said. Sethono, a Botswana Movement of Democracy (BMD) new recruit, would not be dragged into discussing the input of other coalition members.
Some Botswana National Front (BNF) members had vowed that they would not vote as they believed that their own Ngaka Monageng was the rightful candidate.
As if they knew they would lose the constituency, the UDC did not mount a choir at the gate of Moshupa Senior Secondary School where counting was taking place.
UDC leadership was nowhere to be seen safe for a few BMD leaders. During the recent Mochudi East by-election, UDC followers sang from the moment ballot boxes started arriving until Sunday afternoon when results were released.
Though not many, BDP members sang victory songs when the counting started. They could not sing for the rest of the night as it was freezing cold.
They resumed song in the morning after Gare was declared the winner.