The King’s man wins Mochudi East by-election


Moagi Bright Molebatsi, a close confidante of the self-exiled Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela has retained the Mochudi East constituency with a healthy margin.

Molebatsi, contesting under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) ticket, won the Saturday Mochudi East bye-election with 4 402 votes.

Reverend Mmachakga Mpho Moruakgomo of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) followed trailing behind with 3 284 votes.

A margin of 1 118 votes defines the bruising battle between the two parties, giving both formations a sneak preview of their standing and likely outcomes in the constituency ahead of general elections next year.

Former trade unionist Japhta Radibe received a mere 130 ballots in his favour.

7 892 voters cast their votes compared to the 17 293 who voted in 2014 general election.

The Mochudi East by election was occasioned by the death of area MP Isaac Davids who was allegedly killed by his herd boys at his farm in the Kweneng area.

UDC has proven itself a strong force in the constituency despite its increasingly checkered prospects.

It reclaimed the constituency Davids won in the 2014 general elections before defecting to BDP where he was a member before losing his life.

Moruakgomo, who many now describe as something of a perennial loser in national level politics, despite a convincing leadership profile, is the president of Botswana Association of Local Authority (BALA).

He has been president of BALA since 2015 following the previous years’ general election.

He defeated fellow BDP nominated councilor Macdonald Peloetletse to the BALA presidency with 70 votes against the latter’s measly 12 votes.

BDP released a statement Sunday thanking its voters in the constituency for supporting their candidate.

“While we were not successful this time around, the party acknowledges the increased confidence and commitment shown by supporters in Mochudi East,” read the statement in part.

It also went on to state: “We also thank Rev.  Moruakgomo and his campaign team for a spirited fight. The party will in due course undertake a comprehensive review of the results to assist us reclaim the constituency in 2019. We also take this opportunity to congratulate the UDC candidate on his win and implore him to establish a cordial working relationship with government for the benefit of residents of Mochudi East.”