Former Minister of Education and Skills Development, Patrick Masimolole on Saturday left the polling station an angry man after Tumiso ‘Chillyboy’ Rakgare defeated him in a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary election.
Rakgare won the election, which was necessitated by the suspension of Tshepang Mabaila, by 615 votes to Masimolole’s 465.
Called forward by the returning officer Allan Lekwape, Masimolole said he did not accept the results. As people made some noise expressing shock that he did not accept results, he angrily told them to ‘shut up’.
He also refused to shake hands with Lekwape. The former minister would not be dragged into stating his reasons saying that he will only share his reasons with the BDP leadership.
It was said that the BDP wanted to field Rakgare who had done well under the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) ticket in 2014, but Masimolole would not make way. Aaron Radira and Kgang Kgang had initially expressed interest to contest but later withdrew their names.
Lekwape had just told BDP members that he was happy with the way the elections were conducted. “Save for the fact that the turn out was very poor, the elections went very well. The poor turn out was mainly due to the fact that it is the festive season. I hope that we will work hard to ensure that we win the constituency. I am happy that we had representatives of all the candidates in polling stations.” Rakgare expressed delight at his victory
“I thank BDP members in the constituency for the privilege and honour they gave me. I am not going to take this lightly. It is a big constituency with challenges. I am going to ensure that there is unity. People had differences and with elders guiding us we will make it and win the constituency for the BDP,” he said.
On Masimolole’s non-acceptance of the outcome, Rakgare said he believed that everything went well as Lekwape had stated.
He, however, would not dwell on Masimolole’s complaints. He said he hopes the party will address the matter and they will then be able to map a way forward and work together.
Rakgare joined the BDP earlier this year after quitting the BCP where he was the Youth League president. He quit the presidency after getting a job at Botswana Public Employees Union earlier in the year.
He vowed he would only return to politics after a decade. He instead backtracked on the decision and took his chances after Mabaila was suspended.
He will face off with incumbent MP Sedirwa Kgoroba of the Alliance for Progressives. Kgoroba won the constituency under the Umbrella for Democratic Change ticket ahead of Rakgare and Masimolole.