WINDHOEK – A member of the Botswana opposition coalition the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Cater Hikuama, on Friday became the second ‘Baherero’ (Herero) – as they known in that country – to be elected to the Botswana legislature since independence in 1963.
Hikuama is a descendant of the Ovambanderu/Ovaherero people who between 1904 and 1908 alongside the Nama fled then German South West Africa to Botswana. They escaped the indiscriminate and genocidal wrath of German colonial troops, who were acting on an extermination order from the infamous General Lothar von Trotha. Hikuama follows in the footstep of Selebi-Phikwe West legislator, Kavehangana Kario, who was elected to the house in 2004-2009 on the ruling party ticket of the Botswana Democratic Party.
He won the election with 8 026 votes, followed by BDP Thato Kwerepe with 7 682.
A former Botswana trade unionist, Hikuama became a member of parliament representing the interest of the people of Ngamiland constituency where the majority of the Ovambanderu/Ovaherero reside.
Attempts to establish the exact number of Ovaherero/Ovambanderu living in Botswana have repeatedly proven difficult, but a rough estimation puts the figure at close to 100 000.
Many live in villages such as Tsau, Semboyo, Makakung, Kareng, Bothatogo, Toteng, Sehithwa, Bodibeng, Komana and Chanoga, the Ngamiland district at large, and centres such as Charleshill and Maun.
Meanwhile celebrations were under way in parts of Botswana after Mokgweetsi Masisi was declared president once again following an anxious wait as vote counting continued through the night, City Press reported on Friday.
Masisi retained his position but this marks a fresh mandate for him as Botswana’s fifth president after taking over from former president Ian Khama 18 months ago.
Khama passed the baton to him after completing his two five-year terms and selected Masisi to hold the fort for the governing party Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
After intensive campaigning against fierce competition against opposition party, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), and a break-away party from the BDP, the Botswana Progressive Front (BPF), Masisi took his party through the toughest elections ever in its 53 years at the helm of government.
The BPF was endorsed by Khama after resigning from BDP following a falling out with Masisi.
Botswana’s electoral system works according to parties, like South Africa. The party that wins 29 parliamentary seats gets its presidential candidate declared the democratically elected president of the country.
The counting began early on Thursday with the first results marking a tight contest between UDC presidential hopeful, Duma Boko, and Masisi.
2019-10-29 07:37:09 | 16 days ago