FRANCISTOWN: Sabelo Matikiti is the new chairperson for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s Francistown region.
He beat Ford Moiteela who was defending the seat during an elective congress over the weekend.
Other contenders who tried their luck in the chairmanship race included nominated councillor at Sowa Town Council and former Tonota Sub-district Chairperson Botho Ntirang. Former Tati East constituency chairperson Matikiti won the race via 67 votes followed by Ntirang with 42 votes and the former chairperson had only eight votes.
Phatsimo Ramahobo was unopposed as the vice-chairperson while Neo Gabalebatse is the new vice secretary and Segametsi Dikomang became the new vice treasurer.
Raoboy Mpuang was elected the secretary through 64 votes followed by former BDP Women’s wing chairperson Angelinah Sengalo who garnered only 30 votes.
Mathodi Modisapodi toppled Ruth Dlodlo for the position of treasurer with 69 votes over Dlodlo’s 33 votes.
Interviewed after the regional elections, Matikiti said that the elections went well and was happy that the BDP region found it fit to send him to represent them at regional level.
He promised that in his two-year term he would work hard with party diehards and structures to re-build the party.
He said that it starts at lower levels and his intention is to strive to bring the requisite change through his office.
Matikiti disclosed that he would focus more on the Francistown South constituency that BDP lost in last year’s general elections to the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
“The constituency was under the BDP for a long time in the past. I want my new committee to work hard and wrestle it from the opposition,” he said.
He said that they want to start doing things differently in order to attract the members to their party. “The dynamics of politics have changed and the way we respond to issues as the BDP should also change because we want to win votes from opposition parties come 2019 general elections. My intention is to drive this starting with lower party structures at ward level,” said Matikiti.
He said that his opponents promised to support him and with their support and other party faithful, they will re-build the BDP.
For his part, Moiteela said that through his leadership he managed to amicably solve party issues before they became public and tarnished the name of the party.
Mpuang echoed Matikiti’s sentiments saying their focus would be on winning the Francistown South people’s hearts to vote for the BDP.
“We also want to win all wards that are currently held by the opposition in the region. I want the new office to address internal issues bedeviling the party and strive for unity,” said Mpuang.