Thamaga MP Tshenolo Mabeo, who recently lost Botswana Democratic Party Primary (BDP) primary elections, used an opportunity to respond to SONA 2018 during the week to pour scorn on the way Bulela Ditswe was conducted.
Clearly bruised by the loss, Mabeo expressed displeasure on the way political parties conducted what he termed 'flawed' primary elections this year prior to crucial general elections in 2019. Mabeo also decried escalation of corruption both at government enclave and in parastatals with some senior government officials being the architects of the scourge.
He, however, denied that he is bitter against his own party because of the loss, when opposition legislators dismissed his new-found concerns. He charged that it is clear that things are not going well across all the political divides at the moment based on the recent controversies and imperfect proceedings that arisen from all the primary elections in the BDP and opposition parties. He said the use of Omang in primary elections voting process should be reviewed as it causes confusion to the electorates and leads to possible cases of voter trafficking as alleged in some instances.
He said flawed primary elections could be an indicator that the 2019 general elections could be marred in controversy because some candidates have won primary elections fraudulently.
Asked if he feels he was cheated in the primary elections Mabeo charged; "I am not speaking in this manner because I feel desperate but I am looking on how things are not going well in different segments. The primary elections were not convincing in all political parties ahead of crucial general elections next year. Moreover, there is a serious need to pray for peace in this country so that when elections time approach everything will be fine and back to normalcy,"he stressed.
Mabeo lost BDP primary elections in Thamaga -Kumakwane constituency against Councillor Palelo Mataosane, adding to the list of cabinet ministers defeated in Bulela Ditswe. Unlike his fellow ministers Mabeo did not appeal the outcome.
Mabeo, who is currently the Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, did not hesitate to differ with fellow democrats on the floor of Parliament. He complained about escalatingcorruption that happens in different governmental entities where cases of senior government officials are involved. "And Mister Speaker corruption levels are worrisome and the issues of large sums of money being swindled and some not accounted for negatively impact on the economy. Culprits must be brought to book without fear or favor with serious measures taken against corrupt people" he declared.
Minister Mabeo also expressed concern in the other form of corruption occurring in the tender allocation process to some contracts owned by some high profile individuals which are always awarded tenders alone. He said there is a need to ensure that tendering process is enjoyed by all contractors or companies without looking at one side of contractors.
For his part Francistown South MP Wynter Mmolotsi applauded Tshenolo Mabeo for his interesting response to SONA and not tolerating issues such as corruption which remains a national crisis and concern. He challenged on other BDP members not to shy away from criticiang their government when it is not doing things well.