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Mookane councillor denies Bulela Ditswe blackmail claims

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Thebe's borehole PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Hardly two weeks since he commissioned a P100, 000 community borehole for use by Mookane farming community, area councillor Thebe Setlalekgosi finds himself this week fending off accusations to the effect that he has sworn to demolish the same borehole he donated should he lose in the tomorrow’s Bulela Ditswe primaries.

Setlalekgosi, who has been in Gaborone this week to exhibit his Charolais stud breed at the annual Gaborone Agricultural Show, confirmed to Mmegi that the rumours appear to be catching fire.

“ I received a phone call from the village chief who was part of the dignitaries that witnessed the handover of the borehole; he was concerned asking me if it is true that I have written on Facebook that should I lose, I will be demolishing the borehole”. “This is just  cheap politicking  from  my  Bulela Ditswe opponents. I can never  do  that. I will never dream of sabotaging my own community simply because of election outcome.”

Ironically, allegations against  Setlalekgosi came out in the same month a Ugandan politician who lost elections turned on his own electorate by demolishing all the 10 boreholes he built for them, just to teach them a lesson. “I’m quite aware of the trending actions of the Ugandan politician as it has been doing the rounds on social media; but I was gutted to hear my village chief asking me if it is true I would be doing that as well,” said Setlalekgosi.

“ I’m proud about the little contribution that is the community borehole; I’m not shocked that it is being utilised at a high rate since the launch, but it does not surprise me because, many farmers had been travelling eight to15km to fetch water from the village; election or no election, my aim is to equip two other boreholes in the community farming area, in the medium to long term, and it does not depend on the outcome of Bulela Ditswe.”

“I have always viewed a political office as just a window to serve the community better, not so much about the money, because politics is not my career, but I get satisfaction from helping a

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fellow community member; I believe I am what I am because of my community,” Setlalekgosi philosophised. The former national boxing champion says before politics he used to use his sporting celebrity status to entice the corporate world to fulfil his charitable missions. “Back in the days as a popular national boxing champion, I would go to companies like Mascom to help donate computers to Mookane; it was also by my intervention that Mookane, though a small village, got Mascom towers for better cell phone connectivity.

I’m saying this to demonstrate that the trend of community service precedes politics, said Setlalekgosi, who added he had been busy promoting  his Charolais than politicking in recent weeks. “A whole week in Serowe, and another week here, this week; it has been another crazy week, we won 17 prizes in Serowe, including the Grand Champion Prize”, mused the commercial farmer, who went on to clinch the Reserve Champion Prize at the Gaborone Agric Show on Wednesday.

Though beaming with satisfaction after winning prizes at the recent agriculture shows, Setlalekgosi said it was not all-smooth sailing in the stud breeding business. “I have not been lucky to win a farm all these years despite my proven abilities as a commercial farmer and stud breeder; so taking a bank loan to buy a farm, and another loan to buy studs can cripple anyone since a majority of the time the funds go towards servicing bank loans.

In our case, over a million pula a year. That’s why I’m of the view that unless government comes to the aid of Batswana in helping them acquire land for farming, this business would be just a dream, because it is very expensive,” shared Setlakgosi, who said he is in partnership with his equally famous brother, Thapelo in the business of studs breeding.



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