BOBONONG: Francisco Kgoboko has once again levelled Shaw Kgathi with a mudslide in the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary election re-run in the Bobirwa constituency.
Kgoboko won almost all the wards over the weekend; nine of the 10 with resounding margins in the re-run that was necessitated by Kgathi’s successful appeal of the primary election.
He garnered 4,212 votes against Kgathi’s 1,811, beating the latter by a 2,401 margin where 6,023 constituents cast their votes.
There were 845 deficit votes as compared to the initial primary election that attracted 7,458 voters. The numbers for Kgathi’s voters dwindled as compared to those of his opponent.
The writing was already on the wall after the verification and announcement of outcomes of the first two wards.
Although both candidates arrived when the four wards were already put up on the board, they could draw their fate before the final announcement.
Kgoboko was sitting assuredly in the front row of the school hall, while his competitor who cut a dejected figure throughout, was amongst the crowd. When he stood to accept the final results, the winner was overwhelmed with emotion. He thanked his opponent, his family and his campaign team. He called on the constituents to forget the appeals and the re-run and fix their eyes on the ball.
“What transpired was well within the rights of my opponent just like any member of the party would follow their rights when aggrieved,” he said in his short words.
“I request that we bury the matter and move forward as a unit, our next assignment is in the imminent general elections and we should be focussed.”
The incumbent, who is the minister of Defence, Justice and Security, conceded defeat. He said no individual was greater
Kgathi, who is also the BDP deputy secretary general, said he had appealed because the last presiding team lacked fairness.
He complained they were not procedural as compared to the new team that he showered with praise for a job well done.
“I accept the results. Everything went accordingly, unlike in the last primary elections,” he said.
“This marks the end of my political representation of Babirwa. The people have spoken in their numbers, as much as they spoke in 2013 when they voted for me and as thus I should respect their vote.”
He reassured Babirwa that he would give their new candidate space to lead the constituency, but pledged to be available to assist whenever he would be needed.
The re-run was judged free and fair by the retaining officer, Batlhalefi Leagajang. He said although there was much pressure owing to the sensitivity surrounding the constituency, his team was given sound reception and they thrived under it.
This is how Babirwa voted.
Dandane/Mabeleng ward Kgoboko was voted by 500 to Kgathi’s 216. He got 492 to 153 votes in Borotsi/Lepokole, 396 to 99 at Motlhabaneng/Lentswelemoriti, 320 to 227 at Mathathane, 346 to 138 at Moletemane, and 370 to 231 at Rasetimela.
He won Tsetsebjwe and Molalatau 364 to 181, and 371 to 255 respectively. Kgathi came close to his competitor at Mabumahibidu where difference was 12 votes after Kgoboko’s 191 and Kgathi’s 179. Kgoboko won Mabolwe/Semolale/Gobojango ward otherwise known as MASEGO ward with a decisive 862 votes to Kgathi’s 132.