He is a think tank and does not blink when speaking of what he believes.
Aubrey Lesaso of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is the people’s darling and is contesting the elections for the second time in the Shoshong constituency.
Confident to win this year’s election, Lesaso agreed to speak to The Voice about his dream for the people.
Q: Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Aubrey Lesaso. I am from the Shoshong constituency.
Q: Take us through your journey in politics?
I became active in opposition politics in 1983 towards the 1984 general elections.
By then I was a student at Botswana Polytechnic.
I was drawn into politics by Dr Kenneth Koma who was contesting the Gaborone South constituency as a parliamentary candidate.
That is when I joined the Botswana National Front (BNF).
Q: What was Dr Koma saying that attracted you to his kind of politics?
During those days he spoke the language of many Batswana. He spoke for the poor and the underprivileged.
He spoke for the marginalized people in areas such as Bontleng and Old Naledi.
He inspired me when he advocated for developments in those areas.
Q: Let us talk about you and your involvement in partisan politics?
I have evolved as a politician. When I was employed as an Engineer at Water Affairs, I travelled the country.
I saw poverty with my own eyes. I was tasked with the project of water reticulation in rural areas.
This is where I saw, firsthand, how poor some of our brothers and sisters are.
Most villages in the country do not have basic amenities.
Q: Why is that so?
This current government did not properly plan well for this country.
There is an imbalance in the way things were done by the current regime.
If we had the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development Planning to coordinate all the projects this country would have progressed.
Q: You are running for the second time in Shoshong. Why?
Shoshong is my village. It is a forgotten constituency literally.
All major services including the rural administration center are not available here.
We get all our services from Mahalapye. Even Omang offices are only found in Mahalapye.
I don’t know why people of Shoshong have to travel 40 kilometers to apply for Omang.
Q: What are you going to do about it?
Before I answer you let me tell you that we have three (3) junior secondary schools and one (1) senior secondary school.
All of these schools do not have boarding facilities.
These schools admit students from the periphery of Shoshong.
Where are they expected to sleep?
This leadership has a problem of thinking outside the box.
I will make sure that our schools have the necessary boarding facilities to cater for students who are not residents of Shoshong.
I will advocate for the establishment of the Rural Administration Centre (RAC) so that we can have all the services offered locally.
Q: Will that be possible?
Nothing is impossible in this world. All you need is to be smart and know what you are doing.
I have a plan already on how I will address the problems of Shoshong.
I am saddened by children who live in settlement outside Shoshong because they spend many hours on the road travelling to school.
My take is that developments must be brought to the people.
I keep talking about kids because they are our future leaders.
If we do not give them the best education, who will be our leaders of tomorrow?
Q: You keep talking about kids. Why so much concern for them?
My love for kids is unimaginable.
Kids from settlements surrounding Shoshong stay on their own and they end up drinking alcohol and ultimately failing to complete their education.
That is why I am emphasizing the need for boarding facilities in these schools.
Q: What do people tell you?
Services, Services and more services, is what the people are telling me.
For the past five years people are complaining to me that since Botswana gained independence nothing has been done to Shoshong as a constituency.
Take a village like a Otse; it is a health hazard on its own because there is cattle and people living in the same village, yet there are no toilets.
Q: What are you going to do to improve the situation?
There are better ways of addressing people’s needs.
If you are a leader some of these things will have long been addressed.
We have the youth unemployed in my constituency when in fact jobs could be created for them.
A leader should be able to see or identify the talent of his people and create an enabling environment for them.
Q: Are you a capable leader?
I am an able leader with a vision to serve the people of Shoshong constituency.
I have the right qualifications.
I am a civil engineer who holds a certificate, Diploma, Degree and a Masters in this field. I can deliver.
Thank you very much. People need change.
We are going to these elections as a sad nation.
We urge our people to vote for Umbrella for Democratic Change in large numbers so that we can deliver to the Promised Land.
Oct 10, 2014