The Botswana Football Association (BFA) vice president technical, Ernest Nthobelang, has declared his interest to stand for the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections.
Reports indicate that Nthobelang is targeting Mahalapye East parliamentary seat ahead of the 2014 General Elections. Mahalapye East constituency is currently held by assistant minister Botlogile Tshireletso.
“He (Nthobelang) has shown interest in standing for the primary elections and the party is aware of his intentions. Nthobelang is a respected man and the people in the constituency seem to be fully behind him. They believe that it is time there is a change of personnel in the constituency and having a man like Nthobelang has excited (some) of them,” said a source close to the constituency.
The source further revealed that even Tshireletso is aware of Nthobelang’s intentions. When approached for comment on Friday morning, Nthobelang confirmed he has interest in competing for the BDP primaries but he did not want to go into the details. His interest in parliamentary seat comes less than three months after he was elected to serve as BFA vice-president in the hotly contested elections which were held in Gaborone on July 28.
“Nthobelang has served Botswana Government as a soldier for a very long time. He has even worked at the Office of the President (as Chief of Government Security) which goes to show that he has leadership skills. There is no doubt in our constituency that he is a capable man. We just hope that when the primaries come he’ll be victorious because it’s time for change,” continued a source.
It is said that it is in places like Mookane where he originates, Dovedale, Pallaroad, Dibete and Makwate where he enjoys huge support.
Nthobelang has served as a football coach in the past 15 years, which has seen him guiding Gaborone giants Township Rollers, Gaborone United, BDF XI and Prisons XI.
He retired as a major in the army having served for over two decades.