BNF NORTH WEST REGION SG IN THE RACE FOR MAUN EAST
Botswana National Front’s (BNF) Secretary for Economic Affairs Osimilwe Fish will contest as Maun East MP under Umbrella for Democratic Change ticket.
Fish is also the North West Region secretary for UDC and had time with The Voice Reporter Daniel Chida in Maun.
Q. Mr. Fish when did your fishy self land in Politics?
I have been a BNF member since my school days and my uncle who was a politician then inspired me.
Poverty drove me into politics.
Q. What is the difference between then and now?
Nowadays politics is very expensive because some of the candidates buy voters while on the other hand voters’ demand a lot from us.
In the past it was more of selling party policies than doling out money.
Q. So do you have money to buy voters?
I do not have funds as we speak and sometimes voters’ demand and I end up taking money from the family coffers.
I am waiting for a response from people I asked for help from and hopefully they will help me.
Campaign is very expensive and some people do not see that.
Our aim as BNF is to educate people on our policies with the aim of removing BDP and not robbing voters.
Q. The BDP candidate is better off than you when it comes to wealth, how are you going to beat him since you say voters demand more from you?
He has already spent lot of money organising football tournaments around and people were demanding that I do the same but it is something that I cannot manage.
I had to explain that it was going to be expensive on my side to do that and they have to vote for me in order to have sustaining projects.
The BDP candidate also helped one man in the constituency with money to marry his girlfriend and someone like me cannot manage that.
Q. But your campaign is quite why?
I was approached by party leaders very late but for now things are going according to plan, the party has been supportive.
Q. Can you tell us your road map?
My vision is to have North West District people benefit from tourism.
Few people (locals) own camps and BDP does not see any problem with that.
White people are dominating the tourism sector on a land that was previously owned by black people, I am not trying to be racist but BDP government oppressed the Ngamiland community.
Now the government is reserving majority of the land for Wild life what about our cattle.
Where will our cattle grace if the whole land is reserved for wild animals.
Once voted I will advocate for our land back. BDP is very cruel and I know they can do better with FMD it is only that they do not want to eradicate it.
Q. Do you think you will win come 2014?
For now I have 65 percent chances of winning, people in my constituency have been very supportive in my campaign.
Q. Why do you say that?
People have seen how cruel BDP can be and most of them have been impoverished by this government whilst in the first place they had cattle to rely on.
Things were fine in the first but since government is intending to kill all our cattle in favour of tourism people now know who to vote into power.
Q. There are allegations that after BDP’s Bulela Ditswe a certain MP candidate who lost told his supporters to vote for BCP while you are there, how did you feel?
It could have happened in a fit of anger because of the Bulela Ditswe irregularities but I do not take those allegations seriously because in the long run those people will decide on their own.
If BCP is going to rely on such allegations which do not hold water then they are have a problem.
Q. Is the above statement not a sign that you are not visible in the constituency?
Our registration shows a high number of members and we recently welcomed 131 people from the BDP and that is good thing for our movement.
Q. What have you achieved in politics?
Perseverance. I have been loyal to my party and did not jump ship like others and that made people to have trust in me.
Voters know that I will not cross the floor with their votes.
Q. Are you not in politics to enrich yourself?
No, I was forced to contest after certain people we elected failed us and started undermining voters only for them to claim to be caring when it’s time for elections.
All along I have been supporting those who contested and that is why some people think I have not been vocal.
Q. Do you think UDC will take over the government without BCP?
UDC is a national project that was formed for people’s rights. What I know is that Unions asked for party coalition and we just did that.
There is no how workers will ditch their project and since BCP is not part of the project it is better we do not talk about it.
Q. Are there chances of you guys bringing BCP on board?
For now those chances are not there but we want them on board and that is why we do not attack them in our forums like they do us.
BCP does not have the same vision as us.
Q. What about Union members who are contesting under parties which are not under the national project?
Those people are betraying the struggle; they have been bought and promised better lives.
I wonder how they have forgotten about how BDP treated workers leading to industrial strike and after.
Workers were made essential services just to silence them.
My opponents are weak, the other one is oppressing his employees, he is failing to provide them with transport although they knock off late and their salaries are very low.
I think he was forced into politics or joined for personal gain. He is very cruel.
The other one failed to manage workers union and money disappeared under his leadership, what kind of a person is he and if he failed Union how can he become an effective MP?
Q. Ban of hunting, how will it affect your area?
Community trusts were overseeing hunting and with the ban in place, many people will lose jobs.
Once elected I will prioritize the issue and force government to bring back hunting.
I want those trophies to be processed here just like diamonds and that will create more employment.
Basarwa tribe is mostly hard hit by the ban and they are the same people who have been looking after wild animals for a long time.
President Ian Khama was told to ban hunting by his friends during the Kalahari Conservation meetings. He is doing it for his friends not Batswana.
Q. Where do you see yourself in future?
I want to lead BNF; I am hopeful that the baton will be passed on to me in years to come.
Boko will one day step down and then I will be ready to take over.
Q. How will you address the issue of Independent Candidates?
People should learn to accept defeat; I was once beaten by Otsweletse Moupo but did not stand as an Independent.
The issue should be addressed in all our forums.