‘Invicible’ BDP worries charged up UDC
Gloves are off in the Kalakamati by-election this Saturday where the ruling Botswana Democratic Party is fighting to retain their seat against a determined Umbrella for Democratic Change and Botswana Congress Party coalition.
The Kalakamati ward fell vacant following the death of the area councillor, Israel Samu of the ruling party.
The BPP has fielded Madumela Matebu under the UDC ticket while the ruling party has settled for the little known Zibani Mbalambi.
The UDC candidate is not new to the ward as he served as a councillor for two terms, only to lose to the late Samu in the 2014 general elections.
In the last general elections BDP’s Samu garnered 556 votes to Matebu’s 434 votes, while BCP’s Mogapi came third with 219 votes.
In an interview with The Voice, UDC Campaign Manager Mbaakanyi Smart said they are confident of wrestling the ward from the ruling party come Saturday.
“We are in all the three cells in the area and so far we are happy with our work on the ground,” he said.
Smart said people of Kalakamati ward have had enough of the ruling party and want to bring in a tried and tested opposition politician who will represent them fearlessly.
“Our only concern at the moment is that BDP is nowhere to be seen on the ground. This is strange. Usually they should be all over the ward with daily feasts and expensive cars,” he said.
“BDP is behaving strangely in Kalakamati, I guess the writing is on the wall,” said Smart.
He further said their cordial relationship with BCP has sent a shiver down the BDP spine, hence their reluctance to roam freely and show their pomposity in the area.
The BCP candidate Never Mogapi who lost the elections in 2014 decided to throw his weight behind the UDC candidate which has given them an urge over the ruling BDP.
“Its not rocket science. Mogapi’s large following will tip the scale in our favour,” Smart said.
However, BDP campaign manager Dikitso Mandevu. dismissed UDC as a party in decline and tipped his BDP to retain the seat they successfully wrestled from opposition in 2014.
“Batswana love us. The love that we receive in our house to house campaigns is amazing and it has given us hope that we’ll emerge victorious on Saturday,” he said.,
Mandevu, also the North-east District Deputy Chairperson said they are aware of the poverty in the region especially in the three villages of Kalakamati, Mbalambi and Zwenshambe.
“This area needs someone who will work tirelessly to ensure programmes enjoyed by other Batswana reach this area,” he said.
Mandevu said voting for opposition would be akin to shooting oneself in the foot as it may affect how programmes are rolled out to them.
“Look here, there is always a problem of coordination when opposition members are involved. We need someone who will work well with Member of Parliament, Vice President and the President,” he said.
“The road from Mbalambi to Zwenshambe would be tarred, but people should vote wisely so that there is continuation from where Samu left off,” he said.
Party activities are expected to heighten on Friday night as candidates continue to canvass for support.