The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) yesterday unveiled its only second woman candidate so far, Dr Mpho Pheko.
After a lengthy mudslinging between Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana National Front (BNF), Dr Pheko of the BCP got the green light to contest for the Gaborone Central constituency.
She will face off with Tumisang Healy of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and incumbent Member of Parliament Dr Phenyo Butale of Alliance for Progressives (AP).
“Pheko is one of the candidates that people need now because she is not only a woman, but also capable to lead, articulate issues, has been in opposition politics for a long time. She knows the problems of Gaborone Central constituency very well. Pheko can interact with people well and can do research,” UDC vice president, Dumelang Saleshando said.
Saleshando said UDC is committed to social democracy which requires gender balance. He revealed the UDC would look into the matter after 2019 that women gets representatives in parliamentary level as well as council seats.
“For example, Gaborone has five constituencies and the four of them are represented by men. Even at council level in Gaborone, it is still male dominated and that is one of the reasons why we should support capable women when they contest for certain positions. That is why Dr Pheko needs to be endorsed and she has skills that men do not have,” he said.
For her part, Dr Pheko said she appreciated cooperation she got from both BCP and BNF members upon requested to represent UDC for the parliamentary seat.
“I know politics is a complex and tough terrain for a woman. As a woman who has been in politics, I knew it was going to be a tough terrain, but I will work hard to win the constituency for UDC. My constituency is very diverse because it has both rich and poor people.
I thank God that I would be working with tall these different kinds of people,” Pheko says.
She promised to be a voice for children, women, young people, education and community building adding that with her team, they would be able to address problems of non-performing schools.