Mbulawa’s fight for the hearts of voters

Francinah Baaitse Mmana
HOPEFUL: Reebok Mbulawa

Ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) aspiring candidate for Maun East, Reaboka Mbulawa is ready to mount an energetic and no expenses spared campaign for the 2024 general elections.

Even before the party could officially launch the campaign period, Mbulawa has been spotted making a splash on party activities in the constituency, which is currently under the main opposition party, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

“Mbulawa is spending a lot, for instance this past weekend he hired a bus at P45 000 to take constituency choir to and from Serowe,” a party insider said in an interview last week.

The only other candidate to contribute to the cost of the trip was Maun West aspiring candidate, prophet Thapelo (T.P) Elias who forked out P10 000.

Mbulawa is also bought the uniform for the whole choir consisting of 70 young people from all the 11 wards in Maun East.

In total for the Serowe trip Mbulawa allegedly spent more than P65 000.

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“Ah, the guy has deep pockets. He made sure all these young people attend practice every day in Maun. By the way this choir was only put together on the 10th of this month,” added the insider.

Maun East is a vast constituency that includes villages such as Khwai, Mababe, Shorobe, Phuduhudu, Makalamabedi, Xana, Samedupe, Chanoga, Sankoyo and the East side of Thamalakane river in Maun among others.

Taking to social media, Mbualwa listed his achievements including from the time he campaigned at Maun West, a constituency he has lost to UDC twice, first to Chief Tawana Moremi and then to Dumelang Saleshando in the last elections.

In his long list of achievements published on his Facebook Page, Mbulawa who is also an accomplished businessman revealed the amount of money he spent on the football tournament, and that he had finished Xana and Mawana VDC house, sponsored 37 VDC’s with food hampers and money for independence celebrations, employed 57 employees post COVID-19 and set on record as employer of 220 workers in Ngamiland.

Expressing a sense of pride and joy after the Maun East choir that he sponsored scooped took position 3 at the just ended BDP national competitions, Mbulawa said, “ We put it together in a short period of time and they practiced for only 3 weeks and yet did so well.”

Asked for a comment, especially about his spending, Mbulawa emphasised that he was not yet campaigning but rather helping to build party structures as a regional Chairperson who wants his political party to make a comeback and win North West constituencies in the coming general elections.

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“Campaign season is not open yet, what I am doing is trying to build strong party structures and unite democrats. This is the cost of political activism, not campaign,” he pointed out.

According to Mbulawa who was appointed the regional chairperson last year, winning election in a constituency which is currently under the stranglehold of the UDC is a tough mission and he does not want to disappoint party president Mokgweetsi Masisi, the general BDP membership and the “nation at large,” by failing to clinch the five constituencies in North West, which are currently all under UDC.

Constituencies under North West include, Maun East, Maun West, Okavango, Ngami and Chobe.

Asked as to what he thinks of political party funding, Mbulawa said, “Politics is expensive, once you get into it, you have to be ready to spend and that is why you hear so many people talking about funding, campaigns are really expensive.”

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