The re-invention of a fear fokol leader

Daniel Chida

I played my part as a youth! I have taken a different direction in politics- Khan

“I am focused on winning the constituency so that UDC can take over power, I am not going to be derailed by individuals who are obsessed with BNF congresses instead of regime change.”

A former councillor of the Botswana National Front under, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), at Borakalalo ward in Molepolole North, Arafat Khan does not need any introduction in politics.

He was once linked to the controversial, Fear Fokol, a now defunct BNF faction, which did not take any nonsense when it came to defending its leader, Duma Boko and the BNF.

He however lost the past elections and will be contesting again, this time around for a parliamentary position.

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The Voice, staffer DANIEL CHIDA checks on the man who grew up under the tutelage of BNF political firebrand, Mohammed Khan and used to follow political veterans such as Lemogang Ntime, Samson Gower and David Mhiemang among others.

Born and raised by the BNF what can you say is the difference between the yesteryear’s and today’s BNF?

BNF as a party and policies have not changed ,BNF still has sound policies, what has changed are individuals.

Reflecting on your tenure as a councillor, what were your most significant achievements and challenges?

I personally did a lot in five years, I created lot of employment for the people of Borakalalo via the fire station which I advocated for.

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We built classrooms to reduce the number of students being taught outside in the open and examinations results improved tremendously because of improved learning environment.

I advocated for roads to be paved, youth were empowered by partnerships we entered into with private business entities like Dulux.

The only challenge was that I could not make it in 2019 to finish the projects I had envisaged for the ward.

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There have been allegations of a fallout with the party President. Can you shed light on what happened from your perspective?

Ha ha ha, me and my President have a special relationship, attempts have been there to cause a rift between us, but in a nutshell there is no fallout, it’s people manufacturing lies to push their factional agendas.

We talk every week and he called me this Monday and will becoming to launch me on the 14th of September.

You have toned down a bit, why?

It comes with age, I am no longer a youth, I am now 40 years, happily married with children and now running for parliament.

It’s a huge responsibility! I played my part as a youth! I have taken a different direction in politics!

What are the main issues you are focusing on in your current campaign for Parliament

Shortage of water, slow allocation of plots by land board, safety and security for our people, poor results at schools, ailing healthcare, youth unemployment and limited economic opportunities in Molepolole.

We need a new police station and we also need to renovate the old dilapidated one.

There is need for another senior school and a dual carriage road between Gaborone and Molepolole.

What changes, if any, do you believe are necessary within the party to strengthen its position and unity?

From the past the crisis in the BNF has always emanated from the Congresses, people who lose at the congress group themselves into factions and destabilize the BNF, we need to have a conflict resolution mechanism.

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We need to support the leadership and strengthen the structures.

The BNF must also focus on cadre development and political education.

Already there is a lobby list that circulated with your name as a party treasurer, what is your take?

I am focused on winning the constituency so that UDC can take over power, I am not going to be derailed by individuals who are obsessed with BNF congresses instead of regime change, I am not part of that lobby list but we know the author, he is a very divisive and has been dividing the BNF even during Otsweletse Moupo’s tenure.

What are your long-term goals for your political career?

I intend to serve two terms at parliament and retire from active politics.

How do you plan to rebuild trust and support among your constituents and party ?

I have always been around with them even after I lost elections.

I did not only emerge now on the eve of elections and I am confident that the people want change despite the 2019 rigging ,some made mistakes by voting BDP thinking that President Mokgweetsi Masisi will be better.

They have now realised that Masisi is the worst President we ever had. Our campaign team is currently focused on house-to- house campaigns so that we engage the voters directly, we are also opening an office next week so we can be accessible to everyone.

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