Lotty Manyapetsa recently expressed his desire to contest again for the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) chairmanship in 2014.
The development comes about during a time when there is suspicion that the re-appointment of Batisani Maswibilili into power for BCP chair might have caused a rift between his supporters and those who were supporting Manyapetsa.
Manyapetsa has admitted that their resolve to contest for the party chair had divided the BCP into two, his followers and those rallying behind Maswibilili.
Those who attended the BCP congress in Maun last week report that Manyapetsa, who retains his seat as President of the Youth League, and his supporters had walked out of the hall in protest immediately after the results were announced.
They said that his gestures after the announcement was made caused those who were present to believe that he was not happy about the results.
Maswibili won the seat with a marginal difference of about 300 votes.
Playing down allegations that he protested against the congress’s choice candidate for the party chairmanship, Manyapetsa said there was simply no truth in the matter.
“In the process of campaigning for this post, many things happened, many things were said, some of which were directed at my person, but above all, we must at the end of the day realize that we have a vision of a party to advance,” said Manyapetsa.
He said he does not deny leaving the hall but he maintains that the only reason he left with his supporters was because by the time the results for chairman were announced, it was already two in the morning. He said that immediately after Maswibilili won, he congratulated him and left to retire to his bed because the party chair was the most important seat for the day.
“I have accepted the results and I have also accepted the fact that the congress wants Maswibilili to continue serving them. Party elders have approached me and explained that I am still young and will, therefore, have adequate time to serve the party. In the meantime I would be better off continuing my work with the youth league,” said Manyapetsa.
He said that he believes that the election was fair and square, but conceded that the campaign was at times too tense and emotional.
In the past months, Manyapetsa had been in the media, preaching unity between his followers and those rallying behind Maswibilili; many said they were surprised at his alleged hypocrisy since he is the one who looked as if he was doing the same thing he warned others about.
Approached for comment on the matter, Maswibilili said he did not want to comment on the issue.