Multitudes of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) diehards gathered in Kanye over the weekend where the party vice president Slumber Tsogwane launched Thapelo Letsholo as Kanye North parliamentary candidate.
It was clear from the organisation of arguably one of the most attended launches that Letsholo is an events management specialist.
The stage setting, the lighting, the sound system as well as the branding could not be matched by any other launch that has taken place this year.
As if that was not enough, Letsholo brought the country’s top artists to wrap up the day with a mini music festival. Amongst the artists were Vee Mampeezy, Charma Gal and Maxy.
The outgoing legislator for the area, Patrick Ralotsia refuted claims that he was on his way out of the BDP and used the platform to assure Letsholo and Tsogwane of his support.
“People have been talking saying they saw me with some people and suggested I want to leave the party. I am not going anywhere and I would like to see our party grow,” he said.
“I have been recruiting from the opposition and some of them are here including councillor Radikokwana Maswabi who I recruited to the party. We cannot grow the party if we shun those who are not BDP members.”
Ralotsia confirmed that indeed opposition parties are courting him. He assured Tsogwane that he has been a BDP member since 1977 and will not abandon the party. He warned Letsholo that there are those who are targeting specially elected positions who would feed him with lies so that they can then be considered for the openings.
Ralotsia said he has no doubts that Letsholo would do a good job
He called on all the BDP members to hold hands and work together as it is the only way they can retain the constituency. He said Kanye North and BDP have a new legislator who has a good track record and wants to see their lives improve.
Letsholo said President Mokgweetsi Masisi has a clear plan to improve the lives of Batswana and said he would ensure that his constituents benefit from the same.
Letsholo won the party primary elections last year, defeating the incumbent Ralotsia amongst others. He will face the Umbrella for Democratic Change’s Otlaadisa Koosaletse in the upcoming general elections.
He garnered 1,878 votes followed by Ralotsia with 1,398 votes. Victor Makuku got 293 votes, Leach Tlhomelang was voted by 266 people while Julius Kamodi managed 216 votes ahead of Kenalemogwe Mopipi who managed only 142 votes. Candidates bemoaned that failure to close the polling stations disadvantaged them. None of the parliamentary or council candidates accepted the results with most of them having discrepancies.
The losing candidates complained that the playing field was not level and accused branch members of actively campaigning. This led to many to suggest that Ralotsia could bow out and join the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front.