Since the last general elections in 2009, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has won all the seven by-elections in wards in different constituencies across the country, including last week’s win in South East North, Lenganeng Ward in Tlokweng.
Councillor Ronald Bogatsu over the weekend won Lenganeng Ward by 181 votes against Victoria Maswabi of the Botswana National Front (BNF) also under the support of the Umbrella who got 167 votes.
The ballot boxes were counted on Saturday night at Tlokweng CJSS. Only three votes were spoilt. BDP was under pressure as it only had about a month to campaigning in the ward.
Prior to that, Bogatsu made it during the Lenganeng Primary elections getting 42 votes competing with Spencer Kesebonye, with 21 votes, Connie Maclean, 10 votes while Abram Segokgo got only three votes.┬á Maswabi accepted the loss and applauded Bogatsu and BDP.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Bogatsu, 44, said he has little time before the 2014 general elections and added that he is aiming at educating the people on eradication of poverty programmes, assisting the youth in business projects, constructions and maintenance of ward internal roads. He further said the challenges the ward had were the mourning of the late Councillor Mothusi Lekoko which led to the short time for preparations for primary elections.
“I am ready to continue to contest for the 2014 general elections as the Lenganeng residents have shown trust and confidence on me,” said Bogatsu.
He stated that he felt no pressure during campaigning for the ward but felt a bit during BDP primary elections. He observed that Umbrella is not stable while it had enough time to campaign whereas BDP campaigned late.
“Most of the support was through the BDP campaign rally in the village, party members and my family and friends,” he stated.
The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has not fielded a candidate because it promised to support the BNF candidate but is said to have not helped in the campaign. Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) made a bold contribution to BNF campaigns through rallies.
Elections Returning Officer-Deputy District Commissioner South East North, Berenice Berman-Mosime, analyzed the turn up of voters as very low compared to the expected 928 from the voter’s roll. 351 was the turnout of people who voted. Berman-Mosime said three spoilt ballots was not very bad and added that it is a sign that voters are educated and know how to vote correctly.
“There is no major police case reported except one of a mentally disturbed, which was attended to. The 38 percent turnout is still too low,” she said.