JamesJames Mathokgwane is not your ordinary politician.

The former Secretary General of the Botswana National Front Youth League (BNFYL) is a hands-on politician who takes the plight of the people seriously.

He resigned from a plum post as a Director to be able to spend time with the people of Goodhope- Mabule.

MMIKA SOLOMON sat down with this political veteran in Dinatshane village.

Q. Mr Mathokgwane, this is the second time you will be standing to represent the people of Goodhope-Mabule, why did you decide to stand again?

Politics is my passion. People of this constituency do not have an effective representative in parliament.

There are issues that have affected this constituency since 2004 and are prevalent to this day.

I believe I have a role to play in the development of my constituency.

Q. Do you believe people will vote you this time around and what do you believe has since changed since you last stood for elections?

In 2004 I lost to incumbent MP Kitso Mokaila by a slim margin.

At the time the combined vote of the opposition was only 400 votes lower than that of Rre Mokaila.

What’s different now is that the opposition has formed an alliance and I believe that those who are non-partisan will also vote for my party- the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). People are fed up I must say.

We have given Rre Mokaila a good ten years to prove his abilities and he has failed miserably.

People in Borolong and Ngwaketsi are fed up with this mediocre government. We are all in agreement that there is need for change of government.

Q. Why did you not stand for elections in 2009?

I decided to take a break from politics.

I was studying privately and I also wanted to spend more time with my family.

Q. What has since changed, enough for you to be contesting again?

I feel we don’t have a representative in parliament as I said earlier.

The constituency is facing challenges that can only be addressed by a capable leader.

Issues of land and water planning for the entire constituency need the attention of someone who has the interest of the people at heart.

For many years Barolong have been talking about how bad roads are in this area.

The road between Phitshane- Molopo and Mabule is in a very bad state and so is the road to Sekhutlhane which poses a grave danger especially when patients are being transported.

Q. Are there any other areas that you feel need immediate attention?

Besides the road network, if voted into power I would advocate for a border post between Sekhutlhane and Lepurung.

We have relatives across the border only a stone’s throw away, it does not make any sense to have to travel long distances to access relatives when a border post could simply be created.

Furthermore, the youth in my constituency need employment, they end up migrating to urban areas because there is absolutely nothing that they could do here.

Electricity has now been distributed to all villages through schools, but this is useless to the people here because they cannot afford the P5000 connection fee.

Q. It looks like you have a lot of work cut out for you should you be elected, don’t you think?

I know, I will be starting from scratch because my constituency has no bank and there is only one ATM.
Even the Chinese are not investing in this constituency.

There are about 2000 civil servants in the area and every month end they have abandon everything to go and cash out in Lobatse.

Q. Surely, your area MP has attempted to address the challenges that you have cited?

I read the Hansard religiously and I know for sure that MP Mokaila’s voice is not heard in parliament.

I once asked him why he is not saying anything about our constituency in parliament and his response was that he speaks in cabinet meetings.

I believe that he should involve people in his decision-making process.

Q. What would you do differently from Mokaila if elected?

Look, the Borolong area is well known for its master farmers.

Well they were, before NDB took their tractors. We will ask government to turn Borolong into an agricultural hub.

We have the land and the people have a passion for farming.

We need a passionate leader who understands the needs of the people like I do.

To get a bank to set up in Borolong you need an MP who is willing to knock on doors of banks’ Managing Directors and sell the idea of investing in the area.

Readers’ questions

AmantleGaeRaditanka Do u think u can be a real leader o bua the way re boning ka teng mo matlho a phage maabane?

Obua o hegelwa, sorry to use that word but its the only relevant one…. And the Rape case of cause

MATHOKGWANE: This person doesn’t know me. When I speak I use gestures, I raise my voice. I speak with authority because I know what I am talking about.

Malomo Arnold Maweni what exactly made u 2 go 4 UDC out of these all parties….?

Apart 4rm politics what other business do u do part time?

MATHOKGWANE: I am one of those who believe in the opposition coalition.

I think Batswana want change and they want it like yesterday.

UDC is the future of Botswana in politics, any political party that is not part of the coalition should be punished by Batswana at election time.

I am not a businessman, I resigned from work to concentrate on winning this constituency.

Shahim Diggers raya puso e oketse madi a babereki ba maform five pls

MATHOKGWANE: Poor wages is a national cry. The BDP government has failed the civil service not only the form fives.

We at UDC believe everybody is underpaid, therefore there is a need for people to have a better living wage.

What they are getting currently is pathetic.

Blade Motladiile How will u tackle the UNTARRED ROAD issue from Phitshane to Mabule that was said to be on the NDP during the President Masire time yet its still not tarred?

MATHOKGWANE: All the national development plans are hold in my constituency.

Talk about roads to Mabule- that has been in the plan since Sir Ketumile’s time.

Hence, I believe is that our MP is not doing enough advocacy for his area. He is enjoying a ministerial post.

These are some of the things that will need my undivided attention to tackle them with the help of the community.

Bino V WamampelaTomeletso God will forgive u ha o ka bua nnete Mr Mathokgwane, did u rape that girl or no?

Joe German Did u really rape that girl child or ne ba go bopela kgomo ya mmopa fela cde?

Keabetswe Ontiretse Ask him whether it’s fair to rape and win the case on technicalities?

MATHOKGWANE: I was expecting that question. I did not rape that girl, I will never rape a girl.

Those who wanted me down framed me. My name was cleared in a court of law.

It is a painful past that I want to forget. Life has to go on.

Even the BDP guys have confessed to me that there was foul play and they are remorseful over what I went through.

It was not the first time I was arrested, I have been arrested before whilst at UB for the strike that took place and I was even suspended from school.

Only God knows the truth and it will certainly come out one day.

A judge at the court of appeal even said that was the greatest injustice that ever happened to a human being.

Rodriguez Wiseman Blue Moshokgo Do u see the UDC winning the 2014 general elections….

If so what are the strategies you as a party have put in place to win the elections and if not what went wrong in the preparations?

UDC is definitely going to win these coming elections. It is there for everybody to see.

As for the strategy, we can’t reveal it to our opponents.