‘I am going to retrench old faces’ – Letsweletse
With the 2019 General Elections edging ever closer, politicians are positioning themselves for political office.
Gaborone Central, a sought-after constituency that has long attracted attention from all circles, has a new entrant in Moses Letsweletse, who comes into the race as an Independent Candidate.
However, fingers are already pointing at the 34-year-old businessman saying he is a member of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) sent to contest as an Independent Candidate.
The Voice Reporter, DANIEL CHIDA caught up with the newcomer in the presence of Letsweletse’s close associate, Timothy Phang.
Firstly, why are you contesting as an Independent Candidate?
I don’t agree with limitations that the political establishments bring.
You can see that our representatives no longer voice their opinion in parliament but are told what to say.
Again these political monuments called parties are not the only way to effect change, people must know that it is upon us individuals to do that.
The regular faces which are in the whole government system no longer care about people but their close associates and families.
How are you going to achieve that while taking the ‘lone-ranger’ route?
I encourage other people who share my vision of new faces to go solo.
We can bring about change without our political parties.
We can change government if we don’t make our leaders idols, we don’t have to worship them; our leaders feel untouchable because of us!
There are allegations that you are a BCP member masquerading as an Independent Candidate – care to comment?
It is just a conspiracy theory that is meant to tarnish my image.
Of course I did admire the BCP and its President, Dumelang Saleshando, but I have my own vision, which is why I am alone.
Voters are calling for unity – why the go it alone?
The notion of unity at all costs is the one that is causing divisions within the opposition because people don’t want to discuss problems now and instead opt to continue saying they will address them once they have taken power.
I will make it because I listen and take advice. I don’t want a situation like the one at the Botswana Democratic Party where policies that we thought were taking the party somewhere are now being reversed.
The funny thing is that the very same people who implemented them are the ones reversing everything.
We are now going backwards and might end up in situations like Zimbabwe; we might find ourselves stranded at one point!
Politics is a game of numbers, do you have them?
We are busy pushing numbers on the ground and have a different strategy that we are introducing to our local politics.
We don’t do rallies because they are not effective. We will be doing seminars, symposiums, conferences and house-to-house.
This is the strategy that will give people a platform to ask us critical questions unlike rallies where you go talk and insult your opponents without engaging voters.
We are bringing a new approach to politics and it is effective.
Having been following politics and assessing the situation on the ground, I thought it was a good thing – they use it in Europe.
How do you view Gaborone Central?
It is a winnable and open constituency because things have changed a lot since the 2014 elections.
Look at the BCP President, Saleshando, he contested here and this time he is not.
Phenyo Butale was representing Botswana Movement for Democracy under the Umbrella and things have changed.
You look at all that you will realise that I stand a chance too.
What about the poor record associated with ‘Mekoko’?
I don’t have a problem with that because there are some who won before and it gives me hope.
What can you say about voters in your area?
Politics is new to the majority of the students at the colleges in my constituency.
They don’t have an interest because after graduating government does not have plans to accommodate them.
So what is it that you are doing to motivate them?
I told them that I will introduce a system where the best students will be employed directly after graduating without waiting.
It will motivate them to do well knowing there is a vacancy waiting for them if they pass.
Two million is a small number to be complaining about employment.
I have identified platforms that I will be using with my teams to reach out to them.
They are now very happy about having an Independent Candidate, ‘ba rata mokoko thata’.
I go house-to-house and tell them about my mandate, which is: stimulation of the economy, job creation, elimination of corruption and empowering the less fortunate.
Impressive words! So how do you intend to achieve all that?
There are some people we are going to cut out of their jobs and create space for young ones.
It is not like they are going to suffer because they have farms and other businesses they will run.
They have enough savings and property which can help them to easily get loans and continue living – but with youths it is a challenge.
Again by cutting these elders out, you would have cut corruption out because they no longer care, ‘ba dira ka bodipa’.
I am happy some old Ministers lost during Bulela Ditswe because they are tired and think that this country is theirs!