By the time of going to press late Saturday afternoon all indications were that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party was headed for a comprehensive landslide.
The ruling party had made great inroads into the traditional heartlands of the opposition Botswana National Front.
The BNF lost many council wards to the BDP in Gaborone South, a constituency that has been controlled by BNF since it was captured by the late BNF founder Kenneth Koma in 1984.
Despite a comprehensive win for the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), a number of the party’s big-shots were some of the early victims to bite the dust.
As it stands Senior Minister Neo Moroka will not be returning to parliament.
Moroka was the first casualty. He lost the Kgalagardi South constituency to the Botswana National Front (BNF)’s John Toto.
The BNF candidate ousted Moroka by polling 4595 votes to Moroka’s 4451 votes.
Former cabinet minister Duncan Mlazie also lost his Chobe constituency to Botswana Congress Party’s Gibson Nshingwe – a former councillor. Mlazie saw 3057 votes to Nshingwe’s 3322 votes.
Assistant Minister of Education Kavis Kario also lost the Selebi Phikwe West constituency to Botswana Congress Party (BCP) President Gilson Saleshando. He had 3328 votes whilst BCP’s Saleshando had 3997, leaving them at a 669 margin.
However, while the results were trickling at a snail pace, by the time of going to press, Minister Peter Siele had successfully defended his position against the BNF’s Kebadire Kalake.
Minister Nonofo Molefhi also retained his Selebi-Phikwe East constituency after beating the BCP’s Nzwaligwa Nzwaligwa.Molefhi gunned 3717 votes while Nzwaligwa got 3170.
Besides getting most parliamentary seats, the BDP also tapped into the BNF’s strongholds at local government level.
In Gaborone West South the ruling party’s Botsalo Ntuane snatched the constituency beating the BNF, BCP and an independent candidate Robert Molefhabagwe.
The BDP in this constituency snatched all council seats. Even in what is known as the BNF cradle of Gaborone South, the BDP managed to win at least three wards. Also in Gaborone North the BDP managed to snatch some wards previously held by the opposition losing two wards to BCP.
At Letlhakeng West the BDP’s Maxwell Motowane scooped the constituency from the BNF’s Filbert Nagafela.
Pono Moatlhodi managed to retain his Tonota South constituency by beating the BNF’s Michael Mzwinila. In Francistown South, the BDP, which was facing a stiff challenge from the BCP’s Vain Mamela, managed to retain the constituency after the party’s parliamentary aspirant Wynter Mmolotsi beat Mamela.
The BCP’s Dumelang Saleshando also retained his post after getting 6102 people to the BDP’s 2662.
Dumelang is the son of Gilson. The two have made history in Botswana by becoming the first father and son to be MPs at the same time.
The BNF represented by Kagiso Thutlwe got 2662 votes.
Speaking to the Sunday Standard, the BNF head of Publicity said they were disappointed by their party’s terrible showing.
“What is important is to sit down and pick up the pieces and move forward.”