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The meteoric rise of Jojo

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The meteoric rise of Jojo
SELF MADE: Modiri Lucas

He has been labelled ‘too ambitious’ by fellow democrats. Nobody knows exactly where he came from, but the enigma that is Modiri Jojo Lucas continues to defy the odds, stealthily rising to the top.

Now he is looking to feed at the kings’ table.

A self-made politician, the 38-year-old is plotting the downfall of charismatic Francistown South Member of Parliament, Wynter Mmolotsi in the 2019 General Elections.

However, the former Francistown South Branch Secretary first has to get past once MP, Khumongwana Maoto and Lamodimo Dikomang in the Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) primary elections next Saturday.

Q. You’ve been making a lot of noise since announcing your intention to stand for a parliamentary seat in 2019. What prompted you to raise your hand and take on the tried and tested BDP hopefuls?

Let me first state that I’m humbled by the mutual respect between me and the other two candidates.

We’ve all adhered to campaign rules and regulations and have sold the BDP to the Francistown South people.

To get back to your question, it was long overdue.

I grew up in a BDP family, and since my primary school up to senior school in Francistown, I’ve known nothing else beside BDP.

I have voted for the party as a young man and in 2014 I felt the time was right for me to campaign for a political office.

Q. Kindly enlighten us on what exactly happened for you to arrive at that decision?

I’ve always been a popular figure in the constituency and Francistown in general.

A few people believed I stood a chance of winning should I stand. In 2014 I tried to submit my name but I missed the deadline.

I was a bit naive and did not know the procedure one has to follow if they wanted to stand.

I was not deterred though and to prove my worth I stood as an independent Council candidate for Ipopeng ward and garnered 215 votes.

It was a small victory for me that, without a campaign team, no money and no support of any party, I managed to convince over 200 people to vote for me.

Q. What made you popular in the constituency?

I was a cameraman for a very long time. I started at Goldmine Junior School where I used to make P100 profit almost everyday.

I continued taking pictures at senior school and after completion. I also free-lanced for local newspapers.

I used to cover stories for Mmegi; I still have a press card to prove it.

In 2005 I was funded by government to start a chemicals manufacturing business – I produced all types of cleaning chemicals but the business folded because we couldn’t get any tenders.

I met a lot of people through this business and my popularity increased.

Q. You failed at the first attempt at political office. Where did you go from there?

I began to actively work for the party. I interacted with the community a lot and took it upon myself to address their challenges.

One of the first things I did was to provide tower lights at the Block I and VII tuckshops. I buy electricity every month for those lights.

In 2016 I stood unopposed for Francistown South Branch Committee Secretary position.

It was a vote of confidence from fellow democrats and that position helped me to grow as a politician.

That is where I learnt that working for the party needs personal sacrifice.

You sacrifice your time and finances for a common goal – it is something I embraced a long time ago.

I sponsored 30 young people to attend the Youth Congress in Palapye and I know I was investing in the party and the nation’s future.

I have sponsored BDP by-elections with flyers – 5, 000 copies to be precise – because I took it upon myself that the party wins or retains seats.

Q. What is your educational background?

In 2008 I enrolled for a Diploma Course at the College of Auctioneers in Kempton South Africa.

I also did short courses in Sales and Marketing at NIIT. I’m currently in the process of enrolling for a law course with UNISA.

Q. Should you win next Saturday you’ll face the Alliance of Progressives (AP) Wynter Mmolotsi and a candidate from the Umbrella for Democratic Change.

What are your chances?

BDP is winning Francistown South in 2019! I respect Mmolotsi as an MP but people in the constituency have lost faith in opposition parties.

After what happened in Bobonong, voters decided to come back home; their dreams were shattered in Bobonong and there is no coming back from that!

Q. Why do you believe you can win next week’s primaries?

If during my campaign I felt I stood no chance, I’d have long withdrawn from this race and thrown my weight behind one of the contenders.

The BDP is a party in transformation, we have smart voters today who are looking at the future.

They know exactly what they want; this was shown by the impressive number of young people who registered to vote.

The farm that hosted Camp Dubai will soon be turned into a business incubator, thanks to the Vice President who connected water and electricity to the farm.

I intend to implement my 100 Minds initiative where we want to see every village having 100 people working together for a common goal in order to create employment.

Q. What are your views on the formation of the AP?

It was God’s way of showing his love for this country. God has blessed us for many years and he’ll continue blessing us.

Q. President Khama is leaving office in three months. Your comment?

His Excellency has excelled in many areas. His Housing Appeal has been a great success and a legacy he leaves behind.

I wish him good health. His Honour Mokgweetsi Masisi will soon take over and take this country to the promised land.

There’s still no alternative.