Two-time loser at the polls, local businessman, ReabokaMbulawa insists he has not given up on Maun West constituency just yet.
Mbulawa, a long-standing member of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), suffered a crushing defeat to Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) Dumelang Saleshando at last month’s general elections.
The BDP man was a distant second to Saleshando, attracting 6, 409 votes to the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) President’s 9, 713.
Despite the margin, Mbulawa maintains that whilst he may have lost the battle, the war rages on.
“I believe I still have the energy to serve. Serving people is God’s calling! We learnt from what happened and moved on – I guess it’s a battle for another day,” declared the burly politician, who could not resist a dig at his opponent, accusing Saleshando of trafficking votes.
“My belief again is that Maun West was stolen through BCP trafficking. The people were caught off guard by desperate politicians who used all means necessary to wrestle it!
“A lot of democrats did not come out to vote. They took it for granted that BDP will have a landslide victory over Saleshando who came in as an opportunist in the constituency which he has not interest in. All he needed was to get employment. That is all he came here for!”
Turning his attention to the bigger picture and the BDP once again retaining power, Mbulawa said, “We basically still rule the country and so many of us are still proud to belong to this organisation (BDP). As long as we are still capable and the leadership of the party believes in us, we will continue serving!”
Although his loss was severe, trailing Saleshando by 3, 304 votes, the BDP man actually improved on his 2014 effort, in terms of the votes he received.
Back then he garnered 5, 335 votes whilst his opponent, Batawanaparamount chief, KgosiTawanaMoremi II, running under the UDC ticket, received 7, 271.
A third contestant, George Lubinda, standing for the BCP, finished with 2, 329 votes.Lubinda has since joined the BDP and it was thought his voters might follow him to the ruling party.
Unfortunately for Mbulawa, it seems the majority remained loyal to BCP.
After his 2014 defeat, Mbulawa attributed the result to the general public favouring their paramount chief, KgosiTawana II.
Nonetheless, Tawana II giving his backing to Mbulawa, albeit at the last hour, was not enough for the BDP man to secure victory this time round.
Time will tell whether it will be third time lucky in 2024.