Gaolathe, Ntuane billed to square up for G-West South
by Khonani Ontebetse
The Vice President of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Ndaba Gaolathe, will take on Botsalo Ntuane, the incumbent Member of Parliament for Gaborone West South should both of them win their parties’ primary elections.
Interestingly, Gaolathe replaced Ntaune as Vice President after the latter rejoined the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and now he also wants to replace him as the area MP.
Ndaba, who is the son of the late Finance Minister, Baledzi Gaolathe, co-founded the BMD with the likes of advocate Sidney Pilane and Kabo Morwaeng, who have also since left the party.
Ntuane and Gaolathe were considered some of the original thinkers of BMD before the former retraced his steps back to the BDP. They were also considered to be close political buddies.
Observers say should Ntuane face Gaolathe in the 2014 general elections, the political battle promises to be one of the most interesting and fierce contest that is likely to leave one of them politically bruised.
Information reaching The Telegraph indicates that Ndaba had wanted to serve the BMD in the Central Committee only but some members of the party convinced him that he should stand for the upcoming 2014 general elections.
“He was approached by some BMD members to consider standing for the elections. They believe that he has leadership qualities, and in the interest and greater good of the Party, he accepted their request. He is also a humble person and he relates well with people from all walks of life,” said a source within the BMD.
The BMD’s Constituency Secretary for the area, Mankie Sekete confirmed in an interview with The Telegraph on Monday that Gaolathe agreed to stand for the general election in the area after he was approached by the party members and opposition umbrella project.
“Yes, it is true that he accepted the request by members that he should stand for the general election in the area. After assessing the way potential voters had shown interest in him and consultation, he also developed interest and considered standing,” she said.
While she confirmed that Gaolathe will stand in the area using UDC ticket, Sekete said she was not aware of any member from BMD or umbrella project who had shown interest, adding that should such a member show interest primary elections will be held.
There were unconfirmed reports that an additional Central Committee member of the BMD, Dr Tlamelo Mmatli, had also shown interest in standing for the primary elections.
But Mmatli rubbished the reports as untrue explaining that UDC has allocated him Molepolole South.
In a brief interview, Ntuane confirmed that he had tendered an application to stand for the BDP primary elections.