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No by-election at vacant Mathangwane ward

CHAKALISA DUBE
IEC Headquarters
FRANCISTOWN: Residents of Mathangwane village will have to wait until the next general elections to have a new councillor.

Gerald Hulela, who was councillor for Mathangwane ward in Shashe West constituency, died last November after a short illness. 

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has since confirmed that a by-election will not be held in the ward to replace the departed politician. 

At one point there was speculation that residents in the village were preparing for a by-election to fill the void left by Hulela. 

Two weeks ago, Shashe West Member of Parliament (MP) Fidelis Molao also hinted that a by-election might not be held when he addressed a kgotla meeting in Mathangwane. 

“According to the Local Government Act, a by-election cannot be held in the event that a vacancy occurs less than 12 months before the general elections.  As a result, there will be no by-election in Mathangwane. It is important to clear the confusion,” IEC

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spokesperson Otsile Maroba told Mmegi yesterday. 

The general elections are held in October of every election year. 

 “Nominated councillor Sabata Mpaphadzi has been deployed to the ward. She will act as a representative for the ward until the next general election,” area MP Molao said yesterday. 

Mpaphadzi told Mmegi that she started working in the ward on January 16, 2019. 

Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) council candidate for the ward Samora Gabaake told Mmegi that he halted the campaigns at the beginning of the year following growing indications that a by-election will not be held in the ward. 

Gabaake defeated the late Hulela in the widely disputed BDP primaries last October.  There was no readily available comment from the opposition bloc, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), viewed as strong challengers of the ruling party in the ward.



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