Botswana: Batshu Denies De-Campaigning Mokgethi

Outgoing Member of Parliament for Nkange, Edwin Batshu has vehemently denied allegations that he is de-campaigning BDP parliamentary candidate for the constituency, Ishmael Mokgethi. The re allegations that the former cabinet minister who was dropped by President Mokgweetsi Masisi during his maiden cabinet reshuffle is secretly campaigning for the coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) candidate, Dr Never Tshabang.

Batshu did not contest the primary elections in his constituency and Mokgethi who is currently a councillor in Tutume Sub district emerged victorious. In an interview with The Patriot on Sunday, Batshu denied such allegations. "That is not true, how can I campaign for a UDC candidate while I am a BDP member in good standing. That is propaganda spread by UDC activists that ant to tarnish my good name," he charged. Batshu revealed that he recently addressed a kgotla meeting in Maitengwe and UDC activists also wanted to hold a meeting the same day but Kgosi advised them that they should let Batshu's meeting to finish first. "The UDC activists then decided to attend my meeting in large numbers but it was their personal choice to attend my kgotla meeting. Even at the kgotla meeting I did not de-campaign Mokgethi," the former police commissioner held.

Batshu indicated that he remains a committed member of the ruling party and his desire is for Mokgethi to emerge victorious at the upcoming general elections so that he can continue to advocate for the developments in the constituency where the former left of after his term comes to an end. He revealed that whenever he is not attending parliament session, he assists Mokgethi with his campaigns in the constituency. "I am confident that Mokhethi will win with a convincing margin. Those spreading such allegations about me are desperately trying to sow seeds of discord within the ruling party in my constituency," he pointed out. Batshu took a swipe at the UDC accusing the party of using any mechanism available to garner sympathy votes. "I am not mentally disturbed I cannot campaign for a UDC candidate while I am a card carrying BDP member that is purely nonsensical to say the least," he buttressed.

During the 2014 general elections, Batshu defeated Tshabang of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) by garnering 6 461 while Tshabang amassed 5 879, Bigani Kgomotso of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) got a paltry 358 votes. By then BCP was not part of the coalition UDC.

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