Politicians across political divide are reported to have doled out money and food to buy votes during the recent council ward by election in Sekoma village in Jwaneng Mabutsane constituency.
Umbrella for Democratic Change candidate Robert Rantsho who lost the Sekoma by election said there was not much he could do as the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) was using money and food to buy votes.
Sources also indicated that the ruling BDP targeted the unemployed youth who wouldn’t say no to cash and food because of poverty and desperation.
According to sources young people were told to take pictures of the ballot papers after they put a mark on their preferred party. Those who marked a cross on the ruling BDP were rewarded accordingly.
But the Member of Parliament for Mahalapye East Botlogile Tshireletso who coordinated the BDP campaign efforts denied that her party used the said strategy to win the election. That strategy, she said was used by the UDC in the 2014 general elections.
“When UDC wins nobody goes around saying they have bought electorates, they sing the change of government but when the BDP wins issues of buying electorates arise. Where do we get this money? What is the price of a human being?” asked Tshireletso.
Tshireletso said if there is any political party that buys votes it is the UDC.
She said there were allegations that Member of Parliament for Gaborone North Haskins Nkagiwa was buying people adding that rumours were that he was going around giving electorates P200 luring them to vote for UDC candidates.
“We have never bought anyone; our win was a result of our hard work. They are just being petty,” said Tshireletso.
On other hand Nkagiwa points his finger back to Tshireletso saying she is the one who was buying electorates.
“Where would I get money to buy electorates, as far as I know if there is someone who bought electorates during the Sekoma by election it is Minister Tshireletso and Councillor Mephato Reatile both from the BDP,” said Nkagiwa.
He said there were few families in Khonkwe that Tshireletso gave money to.
“She went to Mahotshwane and gave rice to few families there as well.”
“In Keng they bought our foot soldiers with money and it was difficult on our side because we had nothing to offer. I can confirm to you that some who voted BDP were not members of the BDP. They are Members of the UDC because immediately after the announcement of the results some of our members started celebrating with BDP members,” said Nkagiwa.
He further emphasized that the area is the strong hold of Botswana National Front and his party did not lose because they did not have support but they lost because Tshireletso and Reatile used the BDP power of money to buy UDC members.