Last Friday, President Mokgweetsi Masisi revealed that the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) would not hold primary elections in Moshupa-Manyana, having just elected a candidate for the bye-elections.
BDP activist Lentswe Mosanako had desperately wished to be the man to take over from Masisi in Moshupa but lost out to Karabo Gare, who stormed to victory in the constituency’s bye-election on Saturday, defeating his Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) opponent by 4, 093 votes to 1, 530.
In the aftermath of the BDP’s victory, FRANCINAH BAAITSE-MMANA caught up with Mosanako to find out his immediate plans now that his dreams of representing Moshupa-Manyana in Parliament appear to have turned to dust.
Q. Now that President Masisi has announced there won’t be primary elections in the constituency, what is your next move?
When someone has won, like Gare has, the honourable and most useful thing for me to do is to rally behind and support him, so that he can advance the interests of the party without any hindrance.
I agree with H.E that primary elections would not be necessary, looking at the fact that they are to be held in August.
It will be a short period for campaigns and an unnecessary waste of resources. People have already made their choice.
Q. Since you were previously successful at Council level, will you try your luck there?
Like I said, primary elections will be held in two months time – I would appear like a confused man, if today I say they should send me to Parliament and the next day I change my tune and ask them to vote me to Council!
No, I will not contest for the Council seat either. We are also mindful of the party’s stability.
Already there are people who are running for Council and have covered a lot of ground.
Q. So what will you be doing in the mean time?
My aim is to focus on party structures. Instead of diving up, I have to deal with problems from their very core.
Our structures are almost non-existent in this branch. Working for the party does not only involve sitting in Parliament or Council.
For the party to be run smoothly, there should be people guarding it from the bottom as well, to avoid the primary elections mess.
Q. You don’t sound so happy. Were you anooyed with the way Bulela-ditswe (BDP primary elections) was run?
I accept I lost, but many people did not vote because membership cards were not distributed in a proper manner.
Some did not receive their cards at all while some got them after the polls.
It was like a new BDP because at the time completely new cards were being introduced.
Some cards were issued at the last minute and we could not access the voters roll.
Candidates are supposed to have the voter’s roll but we did not – I never got it, even to date.
That is why I feel it is time to focus on those problems otherwise we will forever cry foul.
Q. Even at Branch level, you have to be voted in first. How confident are you that you will make it to the Branch committee?
I believe the BDP members will vote for me, besides the committee does not exist at the moment.
The structures long expired and it is up to all of us to put them up again.
My interest is to contest for the position of Chairperson.