The Botswana National Front, under the United Democratic Change (UDC), has retained the Maboane council seat but lost Metlojane ward, which the ruling BDP won at the weekend.
A 30-year-old BNF candidate, Mogomotsi Mokgolele, won the Maboane by-elections with 339 votes in the Letlhakeng West constituency while the BDP candidate polled 293, with the BCP candidate trailing at a third distance with 60 votes. In Metlojane in the Barolong constituency, BDP candidate, Mmaobene Molefe, defeated Connie Taunyane. She polled 441 votes while Taunyane got 293. The BCP did not field a candidate.
Mokgolele said his supporters at Maboane ward voters have given him the chance to serve their interest at the council level.
He said his main focus would be to ensure that his ward, which he said had high levels of poverty, should be assisted so that it benefits from programmes meant to uplift the rural communities.
Both losing candidates from the two primary elections have accepted the results, with BCP’s Keanogile Melao appreciating the support he received from the Maboane voters though he got a paltry 60 votes.
“I’m not that worried and I would say it is promising that my party got such a reasonable number of votes at first attempt. With more hard work I can assure you that come 2014 I will progress,” he said.
BDP’s representative, Gabampatle Ramonnanyana, also accepted the defeat, saying the elections went well and that her party would be better prepared next time. In an interview, Molefhe who lost in the 2009 general elections and was a nominated councilor, praised her supporters for making the right decision for giving her another chance as they believe she has the potential, though she lost in 2009.
Taunyane on the other hand accepted the results and acknowledged that her rival gave her a tough competition.
“I take this by-election as preparatory campaign for the 2014 general elections and believe that come 2014 I will beat her,” she said.
The Principal Elections Officer, Richard Senthumoleng, said the election was successful as they manage to open and close polling stations on time.
Positions at the ward fell vacant after the death of Councillor, Motseothata Pitso of BNF, who died after illness in August this year in the Borolong Constituency, while the death of Bright Segwagwa from BNF in early September 2012 created the vacancy in the Letlhakeng West Constituency.