Francistown West by-election winner, Dr Habaudi Hubona, has vowed to advocate for developments and help uplift the lives of people in her constituency.
Dr Hubona who contested the by-election under the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) ticket made history over the weekend when she became the first woman from an opposition party to win a parliamentary seat. She emerged a victor after garnering 966 votes against Shathiso Tambula of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) who acquired 578 votes. Joseph Mabutho and Kago Phofuetsile who were independent candidates, acquired 157 and 117 votes respectively.
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) did not participate in the by- elections after failing to field its candidate, Ignatius Moswaane due to a court order instituted by its primary elections loser Whyte Marobela.
The Francistown West Constituency seat became vacant last year after the death of its BDP member of parliament, Tshelang Masisi.
In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph on Monday, a clearly elated Dr Hubona said that she has always waited for the opportunity to get a seat in parliament so that she can address the issues be-devilling the Francistown West Constituency.
“This is a golden opportunity for me to take the concerns of people in my constituency to parliament. My first priorities for now are on education, unemployment, poverty and health issues. One of the issues that are really giving me sleepless nights is lack of a Junior Secondary School in Gerald Estates location. Children in this location have to endure the agony of walking 8 km into town to acquire their junior secondary school education. The government needs to treat this problem with urgency,” she said.
Dr Hubona also expressed worry over unemployment and poverty among the youth emphasising that there is dire need for more investment in her constituency. She further raised concern over poor health facilities in Francistown and shortage of medication. ┬áShe said it was high time that Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital got enough equipment and specialist health services.
“Nyangabwe Referral Hospital does not have specialist health services and this is one of my major concerns. One other issue that I want to raise in parliament is shortage of medication in clinics and hospitals in Francistown. It is also high time that Gerald Estates clinic is transformed into a 24 hour service clinic to cater for the needs of the people in that area. The government needs to look into these issues seriously,” she said.
Dr Hubona also said that she wants to advocate for infrastructure in the Francistown West Constituency as most of it is dilapidated.
As the first woman MP from the opposition, Dr Hubona said that her achievement will motivate other young women who are aspiring to join opposition parties and make it to parliament. She also added that her opportunity in parliament will give her platform to voice issues that are currently affecting women in Botswana.
Asked on how she managed to win the Francistown West by-election, Dr Hubona said that she is a foot soldier who has always been a hard worker.
“I am a foot soldier who believes in working hard to achieve my goals hence my victory.┬á Credit also has to go to my campaign team who also worked very hard to help me achieve my dream,” she said.
In conclusion she said that she would continue to work hard for her constituency and retain her parliamentary seat in the upcoming general elections in October.
In 2010, Dr Hubona contested the Tonota North by-elections and lost to Fidelis Molao.