The newly elected Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General, Kavis Kario has interest in contesting the Ngami Constituency parliamentary seat in the 2024 general elections.
Kario confirmed his interest but has indicated that he is awaiting to follow BDP processes in doing so. In an interview, the Sehithwa native said if the BDP and people in the constituency want his representation he is available to work for them.
The SG confirmed his interest to wrestle the constituency off from the incumbent MP, Carter Hikuama who defeated former Cabinet Minister Thato Kwerepe in the 2019 general elections.
“Now that the BDP does not have an MP from Ngamiland, I would love to challenge for the position in my area of origin and as the ruling party we are ready to reclaim the constituency,” he said.
Should the BDP allow for primaries, Kario is however likely to face the challenge of Thato Kwerepe and Jacob Nkate who also reportedly want to make a comeback to parliament. The duo is however yet to confirm their candidacy.
Meanwhile Hikuama has said he is aware of the reports making round in the constituency of Kario’s intentions of wanting to stand but noted that as BCP they are not shaken by Kario or anyone from the BDP. “We will retain the constituency with large numbers because we are in full force as the opposition in the constituency,” he vowed.
Hikuama added that even if the BCP stand-alone out of the UDC, they will still win the constituency reminding that in 2009 and 2014, BCP won the elections respectively. He said Ngami Constituency has more BCP/BAM members than that of Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP).
In 2009, BCP had margin of 6342 between them and BNF while in 2014 BCP had 7015 votes compared to 802 votes of UDC which comprised of BPP and BNF combined.
Should Kario and Hikuama face each other, the contest will be an interesting one as Kario hails from Sehithwa while Hikuama comes from the village of Bodibeng and they are from Herero and Mbandero tribes respectively. While Ngami Constituency is dominated by the Banderu tribe it is however know that the area remains a stronghold of the BCP.
From 2009 to date, 24 247 people voted for opposition parties while BDP was voted by 21 310 leaving a margin of 2937 between the two.
Out of the 24 247 opposition votes, 13851 people voted for BCP in 2009 and 2014 when the party was not under the UDC while in 2019 it was voted by 8026 votes under the UDC.