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Gunning for Guma’s throne

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Gunning for Guma's throne
BRACING FOR A CHALLENGE: Modisapudi

How MaoDecks plans to topple Moyo

She is the first woman in the opposition ranks in 2018 to win primary elections thereby earning the right to represent the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in the 2019 General Elections.

Mathodi Modisapudi or Maodecks to her legion of fans defeated Botswana People’s Party Secretary General, Venter Galetshabiwe during the party’s primary elections over the weekend.

While she is new in the BPP colours and opposition blocks, the 43 –year- old Modisapudi is not a political novice.

Born in Semolale and married in Matsiloje, Modisapudi is a resident of Tati Siding.

The Specially Elected Councillor has worked with the likes of Bobonong Member of Parliament Shaw Kgathi as a campaign manager in 2014 and has also been on MP for Tati East Guma Moyo’s team.

After three failed attempts to become a Councillor and subsequent fallout with Moyo, Modisapudi ditched the BDP and turned her guns on the party that shaped her political career.

Voice Reporter Kabelo Dipholo sat down with this self- driven politician to learn about her political strategy and her plans for Tati East constituency.

Congratulations on your victory. What does this mean to you?

It will not be a victory until we as the UDC defeat Guma Moyo and the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in 2018.

I’m however confident of victory in Tati East because unlike in the BDP, there’s harmony in both BPP and UDC.

The BPP SG called me yesterday and we are now working together to win this constituency.

The incumbent Councillor Scotch Majama who’s from Botswana Congress Party was also with me in Matsiloje and we are on the ground together.

You joined BPP in April. How are you going to sell yourself in the constituency?

I made a conscious decision to leave the ruling party after I felt its internal democracy was not what it used to be.

I’m new here but I’ve been a politician for a while.

In fact in 2003 when Shaw Kgathi started his campaign, he approached me in Semolale and asked me to help him.

I stood for primary elections in Semolale and lost.

I later became his campaign manager and helped to send him to parliament.

In 2004 the councilor who defeated me in the primaries died and Kgathi advised me to stand for by-elections, but I lost the elections to BCP’s Kimberly Malesela with five votes.

It was after these elections that I realized that I had the potential and I now focused on politics.

I relocated to Tatisiding and once again I worked with a team that helped Guma Moyo win the 2009 elections.

I’m well known in the region because I worked for the council from 1993 until 2003 and was once a PTA Chairperson.

I tried my luck again under the BDP in the 2013 Bulela ditswe primaries.

I won but eventually lost to BCP’s Scotch Majama in the 2014 General Elections. So you can see I’ve been around.

In April this year you left the BDP. Why?

It was a bold decision because I realized that the BDP was no longer a party I knew.

There are too many rebels who’d do anything to win elections, which is not a problem as it’s everyone’s democratic right to stand for political office.

The only problem is that after losing, these rebels work against the winner and ensure that the party loses the ward or constituency.

I’m in the BPP and the losing candidate who happens to be the party’s SG immediately threw his weight behind me.

The BCP Councillor who defeated me in 2014 is working with me to deliver this constituency to UDC.

I value the partnership of the BCP because they have the numbers in the constituency and we need them as the BPP to ensure that the ruling party is removed from power.

How do you intend to topple a strong man like Moyo?

He’s not that strong. He has only one strategy. He’ll soon dish out a lot of cash and free meat and food.

He never consults and never asks anyone to vote for him.

If you go to places like Matopi, Matsiloje, Ditladi or Matshelagabedi you’d realize that he never sets foot there.

Moyo never addresses his constituents because he thinks very little of them.

We are going to hold workshops in the constituency, the first one in Jackalas where people will be taught that their vote is worth much more than free food.

Our people need proper representation, someone who’ll take their concerns to parliament.

Moyo never gives feedback, he doesn’t care at all, and that is why he’s nowhere to be found even though he’s not a minister.

What are the major challenges in Tati East?

Abject poverty and lack of resources are some of the major challenges in the constituency.

We have a 9km gravel road from Tonota to Ditladi, which should have long been tarred.

Farmers in that small village supply us with all kinds of vegetables but their vehicles have taken a battering due to that road.

Lack of water even though we are right on Shashe Dam’s banks is also a concern.

These issues need a leader, that is why I urge women, young people to register and help us remove Moyo and the BDP from power.

We cannot allow Moyo to mistreat us for 15 years, lets vote UDC.

There are challenges in the northeast, where Moyo comes from, but he doesn’t care about their needs.

I’m certain that people will make the right choice