The 2014 general elections race for the Mogoditshane constituency could prove to be a walk in the park for the incumbent and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) legislator Patrick Masimolole. Not so much for any projected overwhelming support in his favour but rather as a result of internal strife within the opposition rank Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which has resulted in Masimolole’s runner up in the 2009 general elections Paul Mudongo calling it quits. Mudongo is unhappy with the outcome of last year’s primary elections where he lost to youthful Radio personality Macdonald Rakgare.
“I joined the party since its formation in 1998 and decided to resign last year December after I realised that relations were nolonger cordial,” “I believe I am no-longer welcome or adding any value,” Mudongo he told the SundayStandard in a brief interview. The former BCP man is not quitting politics but could possibly run as an Independent candidate for the same Constituency just under nine months ahead of the general elections. Mudongo accuses the party leadership and the branch committee of favouring Rakgare ahead of the party primaries held in November last year. Mudongo who in 2009 quit his job at Barclays Bank to represent his former party says that the party leadership crowned Rakgare as its favourite to represent the area even before primaries were held.
He said he was ignored by the party leadership when he complained about the branch committee’s bias and its campaign to flout the rules in favour of Rakgare. He argues that the Rakgare team was always ahead and used in-house meetings and public rallies to axe him from the race. He says many of his supporters were denied a chance to vote at the primaries.
“The campaign was open but it did not favour me as my formal complaints were shelved,” says Mudongo. “My voters are disgruntled by the party leadership and the way I have been treated,” he said. Mudongo has not ruled out the possibility of running as an Independent candidate adding that at the moment he was still consulting his followers within the party and the constituency.
Still within the BCP, an outgoing Ramotswa councillor and primary elections loser Joseph Sorinyane earlier this week announced he was quitting the party and will contest as an Independent candidate for the South East South. Sorinyane lost the primaries against Samuel Rantuana. The BCP has however played down the threat from the duo and maintains it will win both the Mogoditshane and Ramotswa constituency convincingly. Confirming Mudongo’s resignation the party’s General Secretary Kesitegile Gobotswang said that politicians in Botswana are behaving like bad losers. He said Mudongo has never complained to the party leadership through the appeal’s process. “He had no qualms with primary elections process,” said Gobotswang.
The BCP says that it has a strategy to win both constituencies whether or not some members bolt out. “There is a bad trend emerging and people want to stand for elections at all cost….they are actually killing their political careers.BCP is in the rise….it will be like swimming against the tide,” warned Gobotswang.