By Basadi Morokotso
Vice President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Dumelang Saleshando has lashed out at people who go around spreading talk that he is a newcomer in Maun who for this reason cannot contest for a parliamentary position in Maun West. He says he has no regrets whatsoever, as he does not owe anyone an explanation as to why he decided to contest in a constituency of his choice, which also happens to be his hometown. Having been raised by both parents and having travelled the country as his parents often migrated because of work commitments, he says there was no way he could have stayed in Maun to prove his identity as he was still a small kid taking instruction.
“If indeed I am an outsider like they claim, what about those whose origins can be traced from as far as Cyprus and North East? He was inferring to MP Konstantinos Markus and Maun West parliamentary candidate Reaboka Mbulawa whose paternal families he says are from Cyprus and the North East respectively), adding “Do you honestly see them as the rightful candidates as compared to me?”
He said unlike the duo, his parents went an extra mile and gave him setswana names which need no explanation for one to understand. “I might not have spent my childhood life in Maun, but this place will always be home. I have been mocked for having lost in Gaborone Central, but who hasn’t? What about former MP’s and cabinet ministers who have contested in Gaborone and also lost? Isnt it normal practice? Tell those people and everyone else that I am ready to face them head-on and that I have responses to their questions”, said Saleshando.
Regarding their recent standoff with the Botswana Movement for Democratic Change (BMD), he said they are more than happy to have parted with the monster that was BMD and its leadership. He pointed out that people have always suggested that without BMD, the UDC would never move on. “We are yet to prove such people wrong. Let the BMD do whatever they think will work for them even though they have run out of alternative plans .As for us, its celebration time since we are now relieved”. Furthermore, Saleshando said he feels for the BDP and its followers, most of who believe President Keabetswe Masisi is God sent. He noted that people like Masisi can never be trusted, adding that BDP followers should brace for more disappointments, should Masisi ascend to power come 2019. He said “We are talking here of a man who tricked former President Khama into believing he could succeed him. As we speak Khama is regretting day and night as he now realizes the big blunder he made. I can only warn Batswana not to vote the BDP in the coming general elections, or else they will be reduced to cry babies just like Khama”.
Also speaking at the weekend rally was Phagenyane Phage, who expressed much happiness that the UDC has freed itself of the BMD.
Phage called the BMd a monster
“We have been tormented by the monster (BMD). We are now happy because our prayers have been answered”.
Phage noted that now it is the time for members of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) to head back to the UDC because the obstacle is now out. He called on those from the BMD to also follow suit, saying they will be more welcome. The only person they don’t want to be associated with, he said is Sydney Pilane whom he stated they have always seen as a thorn ever since he joined the UDC.
“Batswana have long yearned for change. Ndaba Gaolatlhe must just think wisely because with the AP on board, we will be able to oust BDP”.
He laughed off at the current infighting in the BDP, which he says is a deal gone wrong between Khama and Masisi.
“I can only advise Masisi to do right by Khama or be prepared for the worst. I blame Khama for all of this because he should have read through the self confessed bootlicker that is Masisi. For us it is a blessing in disguise because the entire nation will now get to see their greed and maybe vote wisely”, Phage said amid ululations.
Maun East Parliamentary aspirant Goretetse Kekgonegile said the BDP government has failed Batswana in the past years, evidenced by escalating numbers of unemployed youth particularly. He blamed government for the acute shortage of employment which has immensely contributed to high rates of poverty in the district and thus leaving women particularly with no choice but to settle for odd jobs in the Okavango delta camps.
“We have a lot of households in Maun which are led by children who have been left alone by their parents. This is a worrying situation because they end up performing duties which are past their age.This is enough reason to show that we need a change of government, which in this case is the UDC government, said Kekgonegile”.