After months of relentless campaigning and bickering between the two Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lobby lists, the elective congress came to an end on Sunday with Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s camp, dubbed Dubai standing accused of using questionable financial muscle to win the elections.
Camp Marakanelo, which belonged to Minister of Infrastructure Science and Technology Nonofo Molefhi was beaten hands down.
The mood was somber upon arrival at the Tonota College of Education for Camp Marakanelo on Friday as delegates and supporters of the BDP began to trickle in for a weekend that was to dash the hopes of many.
It was quite predictable during the official opening that the masses had in fact decided between themselves that they would support Masisi, as they constantly chanted his name. One could read the sign of defeat on Molefhi’s face hours before voting started.
Those betting on Masisi got their money’s worth when he later humiliated Molefhi by a large landslide. Next to bite dust was Botsalo Ntuane when he failed to retain the position of secretary general when he lost to Mpho Balopi.
Like Masisi, Balopi also won by a large margin.
Shortly after that, Shaw Kgathi who was campaigning to retain his position of Deputy Secretary General riveted with pride when members of the BDP proved their loyalty towards him as he defeated Andy Boatile by large numbers. Soon enough even a blind man could tell the direction in which the votes were going,
This became apparent when Molebatsi Molebatsi of Camp Marakanelo withdrew from running against Jagdish Shah as a way of saving himself embarrassment as Shah also won the position in large numbers.
In a sudden and unforeseen turn of events, all additional members belonging to Camp Marakanelo began to withdraw from the race.
A reliable inside source told The Telegraph that Molefhi’s camp had taken a unanimous decision to withdraw from the race to save face, time and energy.
“They had actually tried to persuade Molefhi to withdraw from contending the night before the elections as they had seen that he would lose. With the way Masisi was campaigning Molefhi did not stand a chance, but Molefhi refused to withdraw because he was afraid of what his supporters would say,” said a source.
In an interview with Molebatsi Molebatsi, who was the first from the camp to withdraw, he said that he chose to withdraw from contending as it had become apparent that members of the BDP preferred Masisi’s team.
“I withdrew because there was virtually no chance of me winning. After I saw Molefhi and Ntuane lose like that I knew I wouldn’t have a chance. But it is well, we are still BDP members and we will continue serving the party diligently,” said Molebatsi.