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Big Guns Fall in 2019 elections

Publishing Date : 28 October, 2019


The 2019 general election has seen some big guns fall after they lost their seats in their respective constituencies.  The Opposition bloc, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and the Alliance for Progressives (AP) fell the heaviest after their leaders were defeated in this election.

UDC have lost some big guns in Gaborone in this election - among them Advocate Duma Boko, the party leader. He lost Gaborone Bonninton North to Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s Annah Motlhagodi, who was trying her luck at legislating for the third time after two unsuccessful stints with her former party, Botswana Congress Party (BCP).  Motlhagodi garnered 6933 votes against Boko’s 4495 votes.

Boko was a casualty as a result of a red wave that had ravaged through the southern based constituencies where the victorious BDP white washed the opposition at both Local Government and Parliament level. Boko had hosted one of the biggest rally launches on the eve of election and the numbers had suggested he was on pole position to retain the constituency, but voters had other ideas.

Ndaba Gaolathe of the AP was another victim of the red wave. He fell to Christian Greef of the BDP who was also trying a shot at legislating for the second time after he was barred from contesting party primaries by his party in 2013. Greef defeated Ndaba with 4603 votes against 3460 votes. Ndaba, a likeable character because of his down to earth approach to issues and intellect was just collateral in the rage that came from voters in Gaborone Bonninton South.  

Two other Members of Parliament of the 11th seating from the opposition bench, Phenyo Butale of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) in Gaborone Central; and Haskins Nkaigwa of the UDC in Gaborone North lost their seats to the BDP’s Tumisang Healy and Mpho Balopi respectively. In its whitewash of the opposition in Gaborone, the BDP also managed to push in a new Member of Parliament in Gaborone South, Meshack Mthimkhulu, who won against UDC’s Nelson Ramaotwana.

The BDP also registered casualties as a result of former President Dr Ian Khama in the central district. The BDP lost all the Serowe constituencies hence Kgotla Autlwetse, a former cabinet member was a casualty. The most recognizable fall was that of former Minister of Transport and Communications, Dorcas Makgato who lost to Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang of the UDC. Makgato was a marked target of Ian Khama after he accused her of “insulting his father”. Khama used his influence in the central district to dislodge Makgato. Gobotswana overpowered Makgato with 9341 votes compared to her 5562 votes.

The Khama factor also played out in the Palapye constituency where another former Minister, Moiseraela Master Goya (5252 votes) was defeated by Onneetse Ramogapi (5282 votes). Khama’s party had fielded Dr Kolaatamo Malefho (1806 votes) as MP candidate to ensure that the BDP does not get enough votes to cross the line.

Former Acting Minister of Youth Sport and Culture Development, Dikgang Phillip Makgalemele could not stand against the Khama effect in Shoshong. He ended up losing the constituency to Aubrey Lesaso who pulled 8475 votes against Makgalemele’s 3843 votes. Makgalemele is one of the BDP MPs who was rumoured to have rejected a last minute call from BPF to contest under their ticket. Former Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Thapelo Olopeng lost the Tonota constituency to Moathodi who is making a return to the august house. Olopeng attracted 7125 votes while Moathodi romped further with 8364 votes.