FRANCISTOWN: It will be more than a homeboys’ duel when incumbent Palapye legislator Moiseraele Master Goya and his former party colleague Onneetse Ramogapi come face-to-face.
Come 2019 general elections, all indications are that the duo is likely to be entangled in a political fight that promises to attract attention. The two are sons of the soil in Palapye and they need no introduction to the constituents.
It was in 2008 when Goya rose to stardom by winning the Palapye by-election following the departure of former area MP Boyce Sebetela, who had abruptly quit active politics to pursue other interests.
Now, it will be the first time that Goya stands against Ramogapi in the general elections contest.
Ramogapi was a BDP councillor for a long time in Palapye before he tried his luck in the party’s primaries and lost to Goya before crossing the floor to the opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP).
At some stage Ramogapi was the Palapye Administrative Authority chairperson. Well, in the past, Goya had brushed aside his challenge for the BDP ticket in the 2014 general elections. But, in their preparations for the 2019 polls, there will diametrically be no love lost between the two politicians as a new political fight erupts in Palapye.
There will be a lot at stake in this particular contest as Goya will definitely attempt to raise the political bar a notch higher and prove to all and sundry that his incessant victories have not been by any fluke or whatsoever, but a measure of his party’s strength.
Equally, after joining a new party, Ramogapi will try hard to prove that the BCP or the lime movement as it is affectionately known, has been gobbling on the BDP’s strength and will give the BDP a run for its money.
In an endeavour to remain relevant on the political scene, Goya who is also the Assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry has been a regular at Palapye officiating at many events.
The junior minister’s popularity in the area was proven by his victory in the primary elections where he garnered 2,780 votes followed by Isaac Maforaga with 749 votes with Moses Kesamang trailing with 491 votes.
Mathematically, Goya’s challengers could not even afford half of his votes.
Whilst this victory portrays Goya as popular within the party, there is a danger that he may rest on his laurels and become complacent and possibly count the chickens before they hatch and thereby fall into a political trap, as the opposition is set to capitalise on any BDP internal blunder.
Interestingly, in Ramogapi, the BDP is dealing with a man who is very conversant with Goya’s strategies and the entire team’s beliefs and if he is intelligent enough he may capitalise on the weaknesses of the ruling party and cause an upset. After all, these are the people he has worked with for many years before he decamped to the opposition. Post
On the other hand, Ramogapi won his party’s primaries by garnering 843 votes to his competition Ethel Gaampone’s 411 votes. Gaampone would later protest the election results until the party leadership intervened and cleared Ramogapi as a winner.
Ramogapi will have to contend with winning the supporters of Gaampone over to his side so that they could pull as a unit. It may sound easy but this is not an easy feat. Palapye has 10 elected civic leaders and two nominated ones.
The BDP therefore has nine councillors in all, whilst the BCP has three. Both Goya and Ramogapi are well known personalities in Palapye. They also know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. That is how their campaigns are going to continue, from very informed positions.
On paper, the BDP has many advantages to their side, which appear like the BCP has a mountain to climb in its endeavour to reverse the situation.
Goya acknowledged to The Monitor that the urbanising Palapye is experiencing challenges that the whole country is currently contending with issues like poverty and youth unemployment amongst others. “Palapye’s industrialisation has come handy to reduce the rate of unemployment and level of poverty afflicting people,” Goya said.
Particularly, he views the boom in the construction sector as hope to provide the requisite jobs although every situation has two sides with crime mushrooming alongside jobs created. “There is hope for our people and without discrimination the country and the Central region will benefit from jobs and other opportunities emerging from Palapye,” emphasised Goya, encouraging the young people to go knocking at the gates of industries.
As for Ramogapi his concern for Palapye is the poor state of the health centre, which he said was not coping with the demands of the services. The facility comes across as a major concern to him because of its below par capacity and state of disrepair. He is particularly irked by shortage of medicines and absence of specialists citing gynaecologists as an example.
Ramogapi also noted a worrying trend in which young people are failing in public schools with their futures ruined because of the system of education.
The graduates that continue to loiter the streets without jobs particularly worry him. “Palapye has no proper roads especially the older wards. Civil servants should be taken seriously and listened to by the sitting government so that they can deliver.” He indicated that the mushrooming malls in Palapye are not from the government of the day but are private investments, so people should not be confused.