The President of the Botswana Congress Party, Dumelang Saleshando, told a press conference on Monday that the loss by his party candidate, Dr Habaudi Hubona, has not destroyed their hope to take over the constituency but rather has strengthened them so much that they are forging ahead with the opposition cooperation initiative ahead the 2014 elections.
“Though we have been unable to capture the constituency, our resolve to build a more united coalition to counter the moribund policies of the BDP remains high,” Saleshando said.
He added that they are aware of the BDP making negative aspirations about the coalition initiative because the BDP wants to see the opposition fragmented.
Saleshando attacked the ruling BDP, saying that it continues to abuse state resources. He attacked Ian Khama for recently using a kgotla to address a rally in Matsitama Village at which he was accompanied by a BDP campaign delegation.
“Another issue that is worrisome is the deployment of ministers for party duty, which is not fair,” he told the press briefing.
He stated that during the race for the Tonota North elections, a number of ministers were deployed to campaign in the by-election, using government vehicles that are supposed to be used for ministerial duties, adding that it is possible that the ministers were allowed to make daily financial claims for the duration of the campaign though they were on party assignment.
Saleshando took a swipe at Khama saying that he is contradicting his statement that cabinet roles should not play a role in the political leadership of the party.
“The other dirty antics that the BDP is using include the buying of voters,” Saleshando added.
He pointed out that, during the campaigns, their team reported numerous activities that amounted to voter buying by the BDP. He said that with the high prevalence of poverty in the rural areas, the BDP is taking advantage of the situation by providing free food and drinks, which were transported to various places in the constituency by the campaign team.
Touching on opposition cooperation, Saleshando stressed that the BCP will forge on with the initiative and they have elected politician Batisani Maswibilili to lead the party’s electoral cooperation negotiation team in talks with other political parties.
In last week’s elections, Hubona of the BCP lost dismally to the BDP, taking 2,1617 votes against Molao’s 4,575 votes.
Mbayani Phalalo of MELS garnered an embarrassing 62 votes.