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UNIMPRESSED: Arafat Khan
UNIMPRESSED: Arafat Khan

Khan slams ‘toxic’ BCP

Since his surprise loss at the 2019 general elections, Arafat Khan has been quieter than usual.

Away from the media limelight, however, and behind the scenes the former Borakalalo ward councillor remains as committed to the Botswana National Front (BNF) as ever before.

In this explosive interview with The Voice’s, DANIEL CHIDA, Khan proves defeat has not dented his spirit as he pulls no punches is his brutal criticism of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP)……

What have you been up to since losing elections?

I have been focusing more on my family and business. I have a very pretty wife and two children – a boy and girl.

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I’m giving them most of my attention, businesses, doing a few things to put bread on the table.

You used to do a lot of charity work, is that still the case?

As a Muslim, it’s my duty to assist the less privileged.

I have been doing charity at a low scale; I had many plans but Covid-19 jeopardised them! I hope to continue when this monster is gone.

It was widely understood you intended 2019-2024 to be your last term as a councillor before standing for parliament. Do you still harbor such ambitions or has you defeat at the polls ended such dreams?

I have an ambition to contest for parliament in Molepolole North.

I have not decided whether I will run in 2024 or 2029, but will do some consultations after the census or delimitation process is finished. I will make a public announcement.

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Looking back, what did you achieve in your five years as a councillor?

I did a lot that no councillor has ever achieved. My track record is there for anyone to see, but I can just share a few.

I persuaded the council to build three classrooms and a pre-school at Borakalalo Primary School, paved roads and the Kgotla, brought tower lights, we painted over 150 homesteads with the Dulux initiative.

It’s fair to say the last elections were a disaster for the BNF, with your party claiming just three parliamentary seats – your UDC partners BCP brought home a more respectable 12. So what went wrong?

Despite the rigging, BNF’s major weakness was to focus on the UDC.

UDC must just be a political vehicle to contest for elections.

Rest assured BNF is going to regain all the constituencies it lost due to rigging.

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BCP on its own have no capacity to win more than three constituencies, it’s the UDC and the Khama factor in the north of Dibete that won those constituencies.

Since the elections, rumours of a growing divide between the two parties keep cropping up. What are your feelings towards the UDC?

BCP is toxic! They joined the UDC not to win state power but to gain constituencies and use it as a stepping-stone to take over the UDC leadership and resurrect their well know agenda of trying to destroy the BNF.

It’s in their DNA that every time on the eve of the most crucial elections they cause havoc, like they did in 1998.

What’s the cause of this recent tension?

The reason BNF and BCP are fighting is because BCP doesn’t understand how the coalition works and operates; they think the UDC is a political party.

BCP is not well informed on UDC, their attacks and insults on the BNF and its leader annoys the BNF and BPP members who are the founders of UDC.

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Does the BNF have a problem with Dumelang Saleshando?

We don’t have any problem with Dumelang Saleshando.

He was down and out after the 2014 elections; Boko resurrected his political career by inviting him to join the UDC.

Remember he didn’t even have a constituency to contest! Boko delegated me and others to go and negotiate a constituency for him.

We had a six-hour meeting with Sidney Pilane, the rest is history.

With all this in-fighting, do you see the UDC surviving until the next elections?

UDC will overcome what is going through.

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It’s just a temporary setback and we are going to win the 2024 elections.

Moving away from the Umbrella, what is your advice to President Masisi on how to handle Covid-19?

Masisi has failed with distinction. He is only focusing on enriching himself; people need to be vaccinated! We have a small population and I can’t understand why people can’t be vaccinated.

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