In it to win it

Portia Mlilo
HOPING FOR A WIN: Chibuya Dabutha

Chibuya Dabutha ready to serve Swaneng ward

After resigning from Botswana Congress Party, the indefatigable Chibuya Dabutha joined the Alliance for Progressive Party. (AP)

Dabutha is now running for a council seat in Swaneng Ward under AP.

Voice Reporter, Portia Mlilo interviewed this hardworking woman about her campaign and preparations for the coming elections.

Q. We are left with a few days before the general elections, how is your campaign going?

The campaign is going well as I had hoped. Anything worth doing in life is never easy, especially if you want to succeed. There are always challenges along the way, many of them unexpected.

Everybody has the capacity within himself or herself to overcome any obstacle because every problem has a solution. I am so proud of my campaign team for facing the challenges that have come our way. We are waiting for the big day. We are winning!

Q. You went ahead to register as an independent candidate during the elections in 2017 in spite of your party BCP backing up the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) candidate Modala Modala of the Botswana National Front (BNF). What were your reasons?

If you recall, before the BCP formerly joined the UDC, there was an agreement that in the event of a bye- election the two parties would support any candidate that was active in the area and who stood the best chance of winning.

When I first found out that there was going to be a bye-election, I expressed my interest in standing and engaged party leaders. I found out from the radio that Modala had been preferred over me and my party had sidelined me.

All of this happened despite the fact that many within the BCP and the Tshimoyapula/Majwanaadipitse communities supported my bid to stand. There are many bad things that happened before and during that period. My standing was to protest the wrongs that were done.

Q. Why did you decide to join the Alliance for Progressives (AP) this time?

After my departure from BCP my team also decided it was time for them to leave. They took the decision to go to AP and it was they who pulled me in. I am glad they did, because I feel very much at home here and getting proper support from party leadership.

Q. You lost in the bye-elections in 2017, how you think you will fare in the coming general elections?

I didn’t lose, I won! I stood only as a matter of principle and many felt my protest. This time it is different. This time, I am in it to win it.

This time I have a party that not only supports me, but also wants me to win. I have done all I can to secure this win that is duly coming to me. I must say that it will not be my win.

It will be the people of Swaneng Ward who will win. We will have a new Swaneng.

Q. There are only 9 women running for parliament, what could be the reason for that?

I think you can agree that more should be done to change this scenario. That can only happen if we get to the core of what is causing this. You will find that there are many areas where women are underrepresented.

This is a sad thing because there are so many capable women out there and the entire world can benefit a lot from their brilliant minds. One of the reasons is that we have been going about empowerment the wrong way.

The common approach is to try to empower women.

So far the results of this approach are unsatisfactory. What we need to do is to start helping women empower themselves. There is a big difference between the two approaches.

Q. What are your plans for Swaneng ward, what are some of your top priorities?

Swaneng Ward is in two parts. The part within Serowe and the other that consists of the ploughing fields and cattle posts outside of Serowe. Outside of Serowe, access to water is difficult for many people. Right now, all of the dams are dry.

Improving access to safe drinking water is one of my top priorities. Another is if people were given what they need to empower themselves economically, unemployment would be only a figment of our worst nightmares.

Unfortunately people in power lack the vision to see this wealth of potential and to help it manifests itself in reality.

The main challenges are lack of access to safe drinking water, high unemployment and lack of medication at the hospital and those are some of the major priorities that I would tackle right away.

Good luck and all the best


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