Despite murmurs of a rebellion brewing within the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), the normally outspoken former Botswana National Front (BNF) Youth League (YL) Secretary General, Arafat Khan has remained uncharacteristically quiet – until now.
In this exclusive interview with The Voice’s DANIEL CHIDA, the hardworking Borakalalo Ward councillor breaks his silence to pledge his support for the umbrella’s President, Duma Boko.
Khan also talks of his ambition to serve as Molepolole North Member of Parliament (MP) in 2024.
Q. Take us through your journey since you got elected to the council seat.
Without blowing my own trumpet, I think I have done relatively well since I assumed office.
I have achieved a lot and still intend to do more! Last year we partnered with Dulux and painted about 200 houses in Borakalalo – Dulux also empowered about 14 youths and gave them certificates.
Ackerman’s have been donating clothes worth P40, 000 to Annestine every year, Diagnofirm firm also donated blankets to Annestine, Choppies donated computers to Borakalalo Primary School whilst two friends of mine have also been sponsoring the school with P10, 000 every year – last year it was sponsored by rural Metro.
We have donated Jojo tanks to every part of Borakalalo, Jamal Trading, Ezzy Build, Builders World have been very helpful.
We have donated chairs to the kgotla and clinics this year.
We are expecting more projects via the constituency community project and two classrooms at the Borakalalo Primary School.
We are still behind with the Borakalalo Funeral Programme.
Q. What more do you hope to achieve?
The roads are in a bad shape, the classrooms are still short at Borakalalo Primary School – about six classes are being taught under trees!
There is a high unemployment rate and we intend to develop a mall. All these will be a priority in the next five years.
Q. Do you see yourself being elected again?
I am going to contest for the last time as a councillor and will definitely be elected; it is just a question of by what margin!
I have an ambition of contesting for parliament in 2024 at Molepolole North because I have been active in this constituency for the last 15 years.
I think the current MP, Mohammed Khan would have completed what he wanted to achieve by then.
Q. It appears the YL sectors have lost some of their spark, why do you think that is?
I think the BNF YL is not doing badly, we just need to help them. We need vibrancy and radicalism in the Youth Leagues.
The problem in the Youth Leagues is funding; it’s high time parties such as the BNF allocate funds to the Youth League in order for them to run their own affairs.
I have not done enough to help the current crop because of my busy schedule but I will soon avail myself.
Q. What can you say about the current BNF leadership?
I really don’t have an opinion but I think they just have to be supported and members of the party will decide at the 2020 congress who they want in the leadership.
For now, Boko is the President.
Q. But there is a section that wants Boko removed?
I have only read about the desire to remove Boko in the media and a few well-known noisemakers are peddling it.
Some of them are useless and perpetual losers who can’t even win a ward!
I wholeheartedly support Boko because he is leading the BNF and UDC very well and will be the next President of the country.
He is not going anywhere, not anytime soon.
Q. Who’s spreading these rumours then?
Some members of the BNF and some who are in senior party positions.
They are cowards and prefer to leak internal party matters to the media.
I have worked with a lot of them, I know them very well!
Q. What should people expect during the July conference in Rakops?
It is just another party event; it’s a conference and not a congress and I expect a united organisation behind Boko.
Those who want a special congress can’t even raise a single constituency to request for it.
They are well known clowns masquerading as veterans.
UDC too does not have problems; we have to focus on delivering constituencies that we were given.
Q. What happened to your vibrant faction, Fear Fokol?
Fear Fokol is dead and buried – I had to kill it!
Enemies of the BNF in the media were using it to tarnish the image of the mighty BNF and it was for the best interest of the BNF and UDC – but I remain fearless.