After all the noise and promises of recent weeks, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) emerged victorious at the just ended Moselewapula bye-elections.
The small ward, in Francistown’s Gerald Estates location, fell vacant after the death of its councillor, former Deputy Mayor, Lechedzani Modenga in February this year.
In an election characterized by poor turn out, Ruben Ketlhoilwe of the UDC garnered 317 votes, while the Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Gilbert Boikhutso secured 285 votes for second place.
Odireleng Ditshotlo of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) came a distant third with 139 votes.
A total of 1725 had registered to vote but only 745 turned up to cast their votes at Saturday’s bye-election – five of which were classified as spoiled and so did not count.
Ketlhoilwe’s victory represents redemption of sorts for the veteran politician, his triumph coming after 19 years of unsuccessfully trying to get into council.
“My message and campaign were based on the youth because they do not have a party, all they do is listen to the candidate with beneficial motions,” reflected the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) stalwart, who will soon take an oath at the Francistown Council.
In his campaign, Ketlhoilwe highlighted the area’s poor roads and their need for a Primary Hospital as some of the problems he will address if given the chance to represent the residents of Moselewapula.
UDC’s success signifies a huge turnaround in the area and sees them snatch the constituency away from the BDP.
In 2014, the ruling BDP received 663 votes while UDC came a distant second with 142 votes and an independent candidate at the time won 120 votes.