The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is hoping to be the first beneficiary to cash in on the dark cloud that has engulfed opposition parties.
Insiders say President Ian Khama has given the party the lee way to recruit intensively from the party’s splinter group, the Botswana Movement For Democracy.
The idea is believed to have been instigated by MP and BDP chairman Daniel Kwelagobe who is alleged to be lobbying for BMD founders to retrace their steps back to the BDP.
Insiders point out that the assurances from Khama include political amnesty such that those holding political office like MPs will not be victimized at the party’s primaries.
The party is targeting MPs Botsalo Ntuane, Wynter Mmolotsi, and Odirile Motlhale and Gilbert Mangole.
In an interview with the Sunday Standard on the BDP’s grand plan, Kwelagobe was evasive and would not confirm or deny.
“I talk to the President about a lot of things, especially those that involve our party so I am not going to say a thing about our meetings,” Kwelagobe said.
In a separate interview, the BDP secretary general disclosed to this paper that the party was looking forward to intensifying its membership drive by targeting certain people.
“The chairman, me and other members indiscriminately want those members who left to come back,” he said.
Commenting on the issue, BMD Vice President Botsalo Ntuane said that the BDP’s recruitment drive is nothing new.
“I hope this is not in the context of the misinformation campaign; I am sorry. You will excuse us for sounding anxious. But to answer your question the BDP’s recruitment drive is nothing to write home about; isn’t that what all parties should be doing?” Ntuane said when asked to comment on reports that his party has now become the focal point of the BDP’s recruitment drive.
“In fact, instead of trying to recruit Movementists they should be trying to stem the tide of people leaving that party for the BMD.That ought to be their concern. I can categorically tell you that Rre Kwelagobe has not made any overtures…am sure he can attest to this fact,” he said.
Ntuane said that his party’s focus was the Umbrella party which they, as the opposition, were driving towards State power in 2014.
“But if they are considering anything of that kind; they will be ignored because our focus is the Umbrella Project. In any case, we are no longer a breakaway party made up solely of ex BDP people. We are Movementists from across the political sphere with a huge constituency of previously non aligned people. So who are they targeting?”