BDP retains Moshupa-Manyana


The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) through Karabo Gare has retained the Moshupa-Manyana constituency.

Gare reclaimed the constituency in a thundering fashion at daybreak Sunday with a comfortable margin of 2,563.

He received 4,093 votes in his favour while Jonathan Sethono of Umbrella for Democratic Change received 1,530 votes.

The by-election was occasioned by the ascendance of President Mokgweetsi Masisi to the presidium on the 1st of April this year.

The battle for Moshupa-Manyana was considered a walkover for the ruling BDP, in an area that is a traditional ruling party stronghold that has never been in their hands of opposition since independence.

Moreover, the candidacy of Sethono was not beyond reproach and scrutiny, in the run up to last weekend’s election.

It was muddied by infighting between his party, the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and the Botswana National Front (BNF) who haggled over the constituency.

Even though it was thin on the ground, BMD clamoured to represent the coalition arguing that it is retaking back the constituency that it had loaned BNF in the 2014 general elections.

BMD’s strong-arming of its coalition partners caused a massive nose drive in morale among the UDC faithful as well as leadership, precipitating the collapse of planned rallies and campaign strategies in the last week.

Another factor that could have had a bearing on the final outcome is that Sethono does not originate from Moshupa; instead, he comes from Manyana which is not a major village in the constituency and has never produced a legislator.

The constituency was the first parliamentary election that was claimed by the BDP since the last general elections of 2014, a period that has seen an unprecedented number of by elections at both council and parliamentary level.

The Goodhope-Mabule, Tlokweng as well as the recent Mochudi east by election were all won by the opposition coalition.

Goodhope Mabule constituency was caused by the resignation of James Mathokgwane for a plum post at Selibe Phikwe Develoment Unit while the Tlokweng and Mochudi by elections were occasioned by the deaths of Same Bathobakae and Isaac Davids respectively.

Among those present, celebrating Gare’s success was Mogoditshane constituency aspirant Tshepang Mabaila, who is on good terms with Gare, in a seeming brotherhood of the Young Turks within the ruling party.