Botswana Congress Party (BCP) says “political corruption” resulted in the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) winning the Sekoma Council ward by election.
This was said by BCP Publicity Secretary who is also Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse.
He told The Telegraph when responding to the loss suffered by the combined opposition parties supported by the BCP during the Sekoma by election at the weekend.
The ruling BDP won the election with 1118 votes while the combined opposition parties’ under Umbrella for Democratic Change supported by BCP garnered 955 votes.
Keorapetse said the BDP went all out and used its financial muscle to buy electorates.
According to BCP Publicity Secretary the BDP distributed food hampers and paraphernalia to buy votes.
He said a constituency like Jwaneng-Mabutsane is poverty stricken and when there is a by-election in an area like that the ruling BDP applies what he called political business cycle in addition to direct vote buying.
Keorapetse said the BDP went to an extent of using state resources to lure electorates to their side.
“They spend more state resources and bend the rules to get more people into government programs, social workers and other government officials were instructed to enroll more people into social welfare programs, some were promised all sorts of things like houses under presidential or destitute housing schemes, Ipelegeng piece jobs, goats or small livestock programs,” said Keorapetse.
He said the BDP has changed its strategy.
“Unlike in the past when they doled out consumables only, now BDP uses state resources to give or promise long term government freebies,” said Keorapetse.
The MP for Selibe Phikwe West said just like they did with Good Hope-Mabule by election when they asked a question in Parliament about the number of Kgotla meetings and government activities during by elections period, they will do the same with Jwaneng-Mabutsane constituency.
They will demand government to state how much government recourses were used during the period of by-election.
“Remember there were over 10 Kgotla meetings in Good Hope-Mabule during the by-election period where ministers and government officials used state resources to attempt to buy votes,” said Keorapetse.