There is a likelihood that Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame and her Health Ministry counterpart Edwin Dikoloti will challenge each other in the upcoming Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections.
The BDP is going for its primary elections dubbed Bulela Ditswe sometime this year after its national council in March. Serame and Dikoloti have been treating each other like brother and sister.
However, the outcome of the Delimitation Commission has brought a test on their relationship as Goodhope/Mabule, which Serame has been aiming to contest at, has been merged with Mmathethe area which Dikoloti has been representing as a Member of Parliament (MP). The Delimitation Commission outcome was presented to Cabinet early this month and this week some snippets were all over the social media.
At first, Serame had the intention of contesting at Goodhope/Mabule which was a constituency on its own while Dikoloti was intending to defend his seat as an MP for Mmathethe/Molapowabojwang. Due to the collapse or the merging of those constituencies, Serame and Dikoloti might face each other or one has to withdraw from contesting.
The re-arrangement of boundaries which resulted in the formation of new districts made 60 to 70% of Mmathethe/Molapowabojwang wards fall under Goodhope/Mmathethe constituency. When commenting on the matter, former MP for Mmathethe/Molapowabojang, Dr Alfred Madigele said: “it’s melancholic nostalgia that a constituency I once represented will cease to exist. But hopefully, it’s for the better. What matters most is the ease of service delivery.
That the constituents would be able to access services easily, more so that new districts have been created. I was not privy to the possibility that the constituency would be dissolved.
Lobatse is my home town, born and bred here.” In that regard, he said there should be nothing sinister in his relocation of BDP membership. When answering on behalf of Dikoloti, his private secretary Rodrick Mogotsi said; “Dikoloti has the intention to contest for Goodhope/Mmathethe constituency. He is in a meeting but he will give you a full interview next time.
I cannot say much.” Meanwhile, Digawana chief Kefitlhile Kgwakgwe said; “we don’t have a problem with the new constituency. Our only worry is that it looks like the constituency is now broadened and it might strain the MP even further. If the government believes that it will help people to access resources easily then we don’t have a problem. We hope we will get developments easily.”
Last year, in an interview with Mmegi, Serame expressed an interest in contesting but some close sources said she was still weighing options therefore, she may contest.
For his part, headman of records at Mmathethe village, Reuben Mosala said; “we are not happy with the new constituency as Mmathethe residents. Goodhope has been disadvantaging us with a lot of things and we are scared that things might get worse since it is now a district. Everything is centred on Goodhope while residents of Mmathethe are suffering.
Our worry is that all developments are taken to Goodhope. It is time some developments are done here and our population has grown as Mmathethe residents. We want resources to be shared equally.”