SELEBI-PHIKWE: Sefhophe-born Christopher Motsholapheko, who has unsuccessfully challenged former Mmadinare Member of Parliament, Ponatshego Kedikilwe since 2004 and 2009 as well as Kefentse Mzwinila in 2014, has now relegated his race to a council seat.
This time around he is running for Sefhophe ward in the coming election.
Motsholapheko, a member of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) said though he would not be running for a parliamentary seat, he will not stand for more than two terms as a council candidate.
He said he decided not to run for the parliamentary race in order to give others a chance and to make sure he represents his community in Sefhophe instead, before leaving active politics. He said in an election a win is not always guaranteed, but he is counting on his campaign messages and the fact that his electorate knows him well.
“I have a better chance of winning, starting from the coming primary elections.
“This time around I would not be challenging the current MP. I lost against him in 2014, but I am happy that my votes have been increasing, indicating that the BCP is continuing to make its mark in the constituency.
“As a result whoever would be representing the Umbrella for Democratic Change in the parliamentary race for Mmadinare constituency would undoubtedly upset the ruling party,” he said. Motsholapheko has now explored social media to push his campaign messages to his electorate. He added that his party has already issued a writ of elections for the commencement of primaries scheduled for June next month hence his declaration of interest to run for the council seat is not against party regulations.He explained that should his party show him the green flag, he would realise his desire to represent Sefhophe community at large with the expertise he has.
“I am aware that I am not the only one who is capable of serving my community, therefore I believe that only two terms would be enough for me to advance my plans before handing the baton to another capable representative,” he said.
He added that he is ready to work with everybody regardless of political party affiliations.
He said political parties offer different policies and outlook on how best they can improve the lives of people, but at the end of the day the people’s interests should prevail over party interests. Therefore, working well with stakeholders is key, he added.
He was happy that though he contested against Kedikilwe in the past, there has never been any bad blood between them as they have been consulting each other on village matters.
“I have also shared developmental ideas to the current councillor, Thatayaone Segona who is the ruling party member. Therefore I believe that nothing would stop me from cordially working with anybody who would be an MP unless
He also said he enjoys a good working relation with the village’s tribal administration, the thing that facilitated the installation of automated teller machines for the first time ever in his village.
“I have always been pivotal in advising traditional leaders in the village that we must come up with guidelines for cultural practices such as patlo and magadi in accordance with Batalaote customs, and the standard charge of the bride prize though it would not be compulsory. This should be documented and archived in the village kgotla. I intend to pursue this and I would use my position to influence other cultural activities that would benefit our village,” he said.
He also said that he has an interest in influencing the youth to engage in agriculture as an investment as he believes that it is one sector that has the potential to boost the country’s economy in terms of food production and job creation.He expressed the need for the country to look at the production of cash crops such as coffee and dairy products as well as the utilisation of abundance of water from the dams around Bobirwa area for fish production.
“All these could be achieved by a change of mindset at an early stage of growth, motivational talks and agricultural demonstrations, and I will play a leading role to drive this change,” he added.
Motsholapheko said he would also resuscitate the formation of Sefhophe Development Trust that would become the investment engine aimed at employment creation.
He said the Trust formation was conceived in 2015 and morafe was duly consulted and the Department of Wildlife and National Parks was approached for assistance, hence villagers were requested to draft a management plan for assessment. “The draft was then approved by the department, hence an interim committee was appointed. I was appointed the secretary, but due to life commitments, I was forced to relocate to Jwaneng and the Trust failed to progress,” he said. He said once voted in, he would ensure that the Trust is up and running and would knock at every door for assistance.
He also pledged to contribute a monthly subscription of P250 each to Sefhophe and Motsholapheko Primary schools and P500 to Sefhophe Junior School Parents and Teachers’ Association from his salary to assist in different activities.
“I believe there are many more positives we can achieve as a community and Batalaote at large and it is the little things we do together that would make us big,” he said.