Last chance for political die-hard
Botswana Congress Party’s Parliamentary candidate for Tlokweng Phaladi Lekang Jacob Zacharia might be contesting for the last time this year.
He lost several court battles and elections from as far back as 1989.
Voice Reporter Daniel Chida had a chat with him at his house.
Q: Welcome Sir, can you introduce yourself to our readers
I was born in Tlokweng 69 years ago and left for South African mines at the age of 20 but later came back after four years to work at Botswana Breweries Limited as a Salesman for Chibuku.
I was later dismissed for being politically active. I held the position of Secretariat at Domestic and General Workers Union.
In 1974 I joined Botswana Power Corporation as meter reader but years down the line I started campaigning under the Botswana National Front ticket.
I contested in the 1989 elections for Tlokweng ward and lost with a margin of 16 votes.
In 1994 I contested again and won but my employer BPC forced me into an early retirement.
I took them to court and lost.
Q: What type of politician are you?
I am a politician who articulates politics fluently and I know the issues which electorates want addressed.
I know the rules and importance of politics.
I have knowledge in international politics and I am one of the people who get concerned when our government fights other governments.
Q: What developments are you going to bring to Tlokweng?
There are projects which I initiated when I was still a councillor in 1994 and they are still pending.
We had 13 projects and only seven were done while the rest are pending.
I will advocate for a Unified Secondary School, districts Sports ground which is more like a stadium, storm water drainage.
Library and Lenganeng Primary Schools are needed.
Q: How are you going to solve land issue in your constituency?
I believe the little land that we have is not equitably distributed amongst all Batswana, a land audit is needed.
Those who illegally acquired land will have to bring it back to us.
Kgabo and Lesetedi reports mentioned that Jamal has 37 plots alone in Tlokweng and those are some of the issues that we have to look into.
Q: The current government has been complaining of lack of funds, where will you get it?
This country is rich and we at BCP don’t believe the saying that there is no money.
There are raw materials that can be processed here for us to generate income.
Soda Ash processing industry is needed as well as a meat processing industry.
We can process leather here and also use cattle blood to make polish.
A serious government can create a lot of industries from cattle.
If government does not have money where did the P187 million for Ipelegeng come from.
Q: Tlokweng is now part of Gaborone City, how did that affect your community?
We are rural people and the new lifestyle differs with what we are used to.
Though we are classified as an urban area we don’t enjoy the amenities supplied in urban areas.
At new plots there are no water, roads and electricity and that forces people to sell their plots.
The current system is forcing people out.
Q: What benefits did you get from such development?
We used to get a little bit of revenue from rentals but government is charging us tax now.
It’s a take and gives situation and little is gained.
How is your campaign going?
I am working on it and the response is very positive because some people do tell me that I have been patient with politics and they believe I can be trusted.
Q: What are the main challenges that you are facing?
Funds are the only stumbling block.
Q: What is your take on the recent attacks, killings and house breakings on politicians’ homes?
Politics is a dirty game, and when the current government has stayed too long it faces challenges of becoming furious like an injured lion.
It happened in Zimbabwe too where people lost their lives but I don’t want to point fingers here.
Q: All along your party BCP has been denying that DIS was involved until your candidate was attacked, why?
I don’t want to get much into that but you cannot deny that the ruling party can have a hand on it.
If you look back, Maitshwarelo Dabutha’s bottle store was once broken into towards elections and the BDP vehicle was found stuck with alcohol from the said bottle store, that’s why I am not surprised with events that happened to Wynter Mmolotsi’s house.
Q: Do you believe that there is a hit list?
I cannot comment on something that I don’t have proof on.
Q: Are you scared?
Death or no death I don’t care, politics is part of my life and it is shaping my destiny.
Thank you very much sir.
You are welcome