Markus quits Maun East race
Former Maun East Member of Parliament, Kosta Markus has decided to quit active politics after councillors in the constituency swayed their support to party rival, Reaboka Mbulawa.
Although the 60-year-old Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) member admits he had initially planned to retry his luck after losing out to Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) at the polls in 2019, Mbulawa’s arrival prompted a change of heart.
“I realised that for me to stand against Mbulawa, not that I am afraid of primary elections, would not help BDP win elections. I looked at the bigger picture, being the BDP win come 2024, because if we continue to fight the way we are doing at the moment, I can bet BDP will not win a single seat in Maun East,” predicted the veteran politician grimly.
According to Markus, before Mbulawa made the transfer from West to East two months ago, the constituency was talking compromise and planning ahead for 2024.
“In fact our expectation was that we will successfully field candidates in all North West constituencies without having to go through primaries because primaries are usually a major cause of internal bickering and divisions in the party. That was my wish,” explained the man who lost his seat to Goreteste Kekgonegile at the last general elections.
Markus further accused Mbulawa of using financial muscle to buy loyalty from some of the BDP members, including councillors.
“While we were still waiting for the party leadership to give guidance on the compromise issue, a lot of noise and racket hit Maun East. I heard that Mbulawa has transferred to the constituency and is taking over, which is fine, everyone is at liberty to contest wherever he wants but as colleagues he should have consulted me,” Markus maintained.
“This is the same noise which was there in 2019 when those who lost at primary elections de-campaigned the party and caused me to lose the general elections.”
Although Mbulawa could not be reached for comment, in a previous interview he refuted allegations that he was using money to lure followers.
In fact, at a recent meeting in Maun where Markus registered his misgivings, one of the councillors, Moetetsi Mogalakwe denied Mbulawa was campaigning and threatened to ‘expose’ those who were campaigning prematurely.
He mentioned that one BDP member, who is known to be in Markus’ team, was given a Honda fit as an incentive for him to start early campaigns.
It has since surfaced that Markus is the owner of the said car but he insists he was not using it for campaign.
“That car never belonged to him, it is in my names and again you tell me, when you are employed to do certain duties and given a car to use for that purpose, do you take the car with you when you lose the job?” demanded Markus.
Although Markus stressed he will remain a loyal BDP member, the former MP admitted he is yet to decide who to support among those that have since shown interest in Maun East, including: Tebogo Boalotswe, Gakenosi Mpho and Mbulawa.