Crowded BDP primaries field rattles party stability

03 Aug 2018

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has released its list of members that will contest the party’s primary elections.

The lists depicts a crowded field, raising fears that a failure to reach consensus and compromise among contenders will cause inner-party strife.

For the last two years the party had tried to move mountains in efforts to reduce contests in the primaries.

Realising that that no compromise has been achieved, the party has now allowed candidates to engage in open warfare.

In some instances there are more than five candidates vying against each other in one constituency.  The primary elections are billed for 11 August.

According to the report there are number of constituencies that  are fiercely contested such as Lobatse, Nata Gweta, Francistown West, Ghanzi South,KanyeNorth,Lentsweletau/Mmopane,Letlhakeng/Lephepe,Mahalapye East, Maun East, Mmathethe/Molapowabojang, Mochudi East, Nkange, Serowe South and Tonota.

In Nata Gweta five candidates are vying for primaries including incumbent Polson Majaga.

Others are two former area Members of Parliament Ryner Makosha and Olifant Mfa.  

Yet more other contenders are Mbanga Mbanga, Lawrence Ooketse, Gadibolae Matekane, and former Botswana Congress Party firebrand and parliamentary candidate Ditiro Majadibodu who contested elections in 2014.

Francistown West MP Ignatius Moswaane will battle it out with other five contestants. They are Kago Phofuetsile, Samuel Kealotswe, Tebogo Toteng, Cornelius Gopolang and Raoboy Mpuang.   

The impending departure of Ghanzi South Member of Parliament, Christian DeGraff has also attracted intense interests in the constituency.

Four candidates have been given the green light to contest for primary elections while the fifth candidate Linda Segwai who had shown interest was vetted out. The other four candidates are David Sethatho, Raymond Molatole, Thato Tshweneyagae and Edward Stanley.

In Tonota, incumbent Thapelo Olopeng will face Setshege Tapela, Peter Williams and Botho Ntirang.

All six candidates who have shown interest to stand for primary elections in Kanye North have qualified to stand for elections. The current MP Patrick Ralotsia will lock horns with Thapelo Letsholo, Victor Mabuku, Julius Kamodi, Kenalemang Mopipi and Thomelang Kemmpatse.

In Lobatse constituency the current MP Sadque Kebonang will battle it out with other five contestants. They are Thapelo Matsheka, Ahmed Shabbeer Ishael, Kamal Jacobs, Patrick Kebaile and Lone Lincoln Bome.

In Lentsweletau/Mmopane constituency, the current MP Vincent Seretse will face Mogatusi Sebego, Chomi Letlole, Patrick Manthe, Nnaniki Makwinja, Col Rueben Mokopaina and Benedict Molefe.

The ruling party chief whip and Letlhakeng/Lephephe MP Liakat Kablay will face five candidates who have shown interest and were give the green light to contest for elections. They are Kgopolo Lekuntwane, Alfred Molapo, Daisy Botsoba, Lefoko Kegopotswe and Edward Kepaletswe.

In Serowe West MP Tshekedi Khama will face former Gaborone North MP Keletso Rakhudu.

In Ngami constituency the former MP for the area Jacob Nkate will take on the current MP Thato Kwerepe in the primary elections  while Kgalagdi North MP, Itumeleng Moipisi will face Talitha Monnakgotla.

Meanwhile a few legislators have not put their names forward.

They are Serowe South MP Pelonomi Venson, Nkange MP Edwin Batshu, Ghanzi South MP Christian DeGraff and Mahalapye East MP Botlogile Tshireletso.

Recently the BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi confirmed that a number of candidates may withdraw from the race. According to Balopi the party has been informed that a number of candidates are intending to withdraw from the race. He indicated that the party was encouraging candidates to withdraw stating that the move is geared towards building the party. Balopi indicated that the withdrawal of the candidates is encouraged since it has a potential to bring the party the desired results.

 “We are still expecting more to withdraw since there has been rumours that others have written letters to the party asking to withdraw from the race in different constituencies,’’ said Balopi.

Balopi was of the view that the party benefits in this development since the party will not encounter more resources to reconcile.