VOCAL: Arafat Khan

Botswana National Front Youth League Secretary General, Arafat Khan has spoken about his interest to contest for a Council seat next year.

If he wins the BNF primary elections, the 28-year- old Khan, would most likely run against his Uncle, Shabbir Kably who is the current Councillor for Borakalalo ward.

Q. You have been quite lately. What is happening?
We have been focusing on other party activities such as building youth structures and mobilization of the Umbrella launch. So I decided to keep a low profile. It is just a matter of time before I make a comeback in frontline politics. Believe you me, it will be radical, vibrant, militant and defiant as ever.

Q. When is the launch?
September, 8, 2012. It will be the biggest political event ever held in Botswana.

Q. I hear you want to contest for a Council seat next year. Is that true?
I have been approached by people of Borakalalo and they want me to represent them at the local government level. So yes, I will avail myself and stand for the Council seat. Borakalalo lacks development and it needs a true representative not a mere job seeker or someone who wants to enrich him/herself.

Q. So, you want to oust your Uncle, Shabir Kablay from the seat?
My uncle is the current Councilor for Borakalalo ward. He is a member of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and I am BNF. I don’t want to oust my uncle from the seat but I want the BNF to win the seat. The issue here is not between me and my uncle but rather about BDP versus BNF. I want to oust the BDP.

Q. And you want to make a baby next year?
No, where do you get that?

Q. You posted on your facebook page that you want to make a baby next year. So I was wondering how you were going to afford the campaign plus maintain a new baby?
With the baby I was kidding. I am a Muslim and my religion does not allow us to have children outside wedlock. As for the campaigns, I would cross the bridge when I get there.

Q. You are almost at the bridge and you should be having plans by now?
The thing is, I don’t work and I depend on handouts from colleagues, friends and my family. My Uncle Mohammed Khan has especially been very kind to me and supportive for years.

Q. Doesn’t the BNF give you an allowance for all the work you do for the party?
BNF does not have money. We sacrifice our time, skills and money for the good of the party. All the work we do is on goodwill and I have been doing it for the past 10 years. I am a political animal. I was born in this party. My blood is black, green and gold.

Q. You are forever defending BNF President, Duma Boko. In fact some people call you the Julius Malema of BNF. What is your comment to that?
They are entitled to their own opinions. I always support decisions taken by the BNF leadership, that is, the leadership, which has been voted by the BNF majority. Sometimes I differ with Comrade Boko but I do it in a respectable manner. Boko is what the BNF has been looking for. He is one of the best cadres BNF has ever produced. He is very committed to the BNF and the Umbrella project. I am not ashamed to defend and protect him against some political quacks. As long as he is the BNF leader he must expect 100 percent support and protection from me.

Q. I am told you would be meeting Malema sometime next week. What are you seeing him about?
Politics. We will talk politics. We are still very much in touch with him and the ANC (African National Congress) Youth League. We believe he has been hard done by the ANC. I still perceive him as the most outstanding youth leader of our generation. He shared the same vision as the BNF youth league because we all believe that Africans should stand for Africans. He was persecuted for calling for regime change in the ANC. He had his own opinions and somebody should not be persecuted for an opinion.

Q. Sound likeyou idolize him. Is he your role model?
Role model! No. I don’t idolize people but I do respect Che Guevara, Chris Hani, Nelson Mandela and have massive respect for Fikile Mbalula. Mbalula is a rare breed in politics, an extra-ordinary organizer.

Q. The BNF was in Maun over the weekend, how many new members did you net into its fold?
I am told 200 members from BCP and Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) were registered but about 90 members showed up at the welcoming event.

Q. You are stealing from the opposition instead of hunting from the ruling party. Does that make political sense, looking at the fact that you all say the ruling party is your common enemy?
We did have some from the ruling party. We registered about forty from BDP. BCP is in a pact with the BDP so getting members from BCP is the same as getting members from the BDP. There is no difference between the two parties.

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