BDP elders convinced me to stand
In October 2012, Macdonald Chillyboy Rakgare left the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for Botswana Congress Party (BCP) where he rose to the rank of Youth League President.
Rakgare also became Mogoditshane constituency BCP candidate during 2014 general elections and came second with 3 846 votes, hot on the heels of the winner and current Member of Parliament, Sedirwa Kgoroba who garnered 4, 180 votes.
The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA spoke to the young politician who has since retraced his steps back to the ruling party only to emerge as its candidate in Mogoditshane following the dismissal of Tshepang Mabaila, the party’s initial primary elections winner.
What inspired your move back to BDP?
Remember I was a BDP member before and my defection from it was because of certain concerns affecting youths that I had raised with relevant authorities but were not listened to.
I could not stay in a space which was not free hence I left.
But although I left, there were three people being, the current president, Mokgweetsi Masisi who was a Minister then, Gladys Kokorwe, our speaker of parliament and Pabalelo Motaoseno, candidate for Thamaga/Kumakwane constituency who were not happy with my decision.
They told me that doors would always be open for me in case I wanted to return. During my stay at the BCP, I never thought that one day I would defect back to BDP until Masisi was inaugurated.
He is someone I respect a lot because he is a visionary and a man who wants to take Botswana forward, so I decided to go back.
Since we once had a good working relationship, going back was not a difficult task at all.
It is also not a secret that I was not comfortable with the BCP joining the UDC before ironing certain issues out, such as the insults and lies that were directed towards Dumelang Saleshando during campaigns.
Some of the UDC leaders and their members tarnished his name and reputation but post elections they came back running talking unity.
They must apologise first and tell the nation that they lied.
The other issue was of failure by the UDC to release Gomolemo Motswaledi’s report despite having made it clear that it was out.
People want that report and come August it will be five years of waiting.
One of the people who lied about the report is aspiring to be the president of the country, imagine!
What was the other issue?
The other issue is of election of office bearers. Since 2012, UDC has been lead by one person and he is from the Botswana National Front, what is so special about the BNF when there is BCP and BPP?
Even in the future there is no sign of having a leader of the UDC coming from any party apart from the BNF.
I believed and still believe in Saleshando, he is a capable leader and I will never stop praising him unless he goes off the rails somehow.
When you endorse Duma Boko to be a leader then I have problems because that one cannot lead.
What problem do you have with Boko?
In my life I have never wished Boko to be my leader.
I never viewed him the way I view, Saleshando or Ndaba Gaolathe.
I thought Ndaba or Saleshando were going to lead the Umbrella because of their leadership qualities, not Boko.
There are many issues that I will spill out, time will come and it’s time for elections, we will spill the beans.
Were you not frustrated that maybe the constituency you wanted was allocated to Botswana Movement for Democracy?
In July 2017, I did reveal to the UDC that I was going to contest at Mogoditshane Central North ward for a council seat and support the UDC candidate who was Kgoroba.
I was taking that direction with the hope that all issues surrounding UDC in relation to its leadership and allocation of constituencies would be resolved but that never happened.
As we speak, the UDC does not have a candidate in Mogoditshane. I was not desperate to contest.
How come you joined BDP and immediately became their candidate?
Initially I was not interested in contesting during the BDP Bulela Ditswe and I told the President who just like me was not comfortable with me contesting.
Unfortunately there was pressure from some leadership quarters that convinced me to stand.
They told me that the idea of not contesting was not a good one and I consulted my family and wife who gave me a green light.
After all it is not about me but about serving the people. I have been welcomed well by the democrats.
Have you reconciled with Patrick Masimolole, your Bulela Ditswe rival who didn’t accept the loss?
It is the responsibility of the party structures to reconcile us not myself, but we do talk because he did a lot of things for the party and country in the past.
What do you have for Mogoditshane residents?
I am waiting for the president to launch our manifesto then we roll out or plans but some of the issues to tackle will include, high level of crime and unemployment, crisis of accommodation and pay within the BDF and issues of land.
We want to bring investors to Mogoditshane.
Your views on Pelonomi Venson Moitoi’s challenge on HE?
She is a democrat who has rights but anybody who wants the party to continue with peace and tranquility would have to rally behind the president.
In April the President will launch the manifesto, which will be drawn from his road map.
Although we do contribute in the manifesto, he is the driver.
Soon campaign materials will be rolled out and what will be the use of changing him in July, just three months before elections.
Why fix it when it’s not broken. HE has even brought back the party veterans after being sidelined for so long that alone shows that he is the right man for the job.