Hardly a year after he resigned from the Botswana Peoples Party to join the Botswana Democratic Party, former BPP Secretary General, Cornelius Gopolang, has jumped back into the political spotlight after snatching a council seat in last week’s Bulela Ditswe elections in Francistown.
Gopolang, who is no stranger to politics but is otherwise a newcomer in the BDP fold, trounced incumbent Kanana councilor, Ace Ntheetsang, to earn himself a seat in the BDP’s 2009 general election campaign team.
Indications are that Gopolang had aligned himself with renowned tactician Peter Ngoma who came last in the three horse parliamentary race for Francistown West, also featuring Sylvia Muzila and incumbent Tshelang Masisi.
Speaking to The Sunday Standard on Friday an elated Gopolang said that he has finally found his political home in the BDP. “The BDP has embraced me with open arms and I feel that I have finally found my home,” he said.
Gopolang resigned from the embattled BPP last year in a cloud of controversy following a feud between himself and the BPP Central Committee, which was clouded by accusations and counter accusations of power mongering and disregard for party regulations.
At the time, Gopolang told The Sunday Standard that he was disgruntled with the way some party members disregarded party regulations and continuously overruled decisions made by the party executive. On the other hand, some Central Committee members dismissed him as a self obsessed man who does not respect Central Committee decisions except when they served his personal interests. At the core of the animosity was disagreement over which model to adopt in the unity talks between BPP, Botswana Alliance Movement and Botswana Congress Party.
A disgruntled Gopolang, who said at the time that he had dedicated precious years to the BPP at the expense of his family and businesses, decided to take a 6 months sabbatical from active politics. But it was not long before the ever churning BDP political machinery lapped him up, eventually affording him a chance to pit his mettle against some established BDP members.
Gopolang said on Friday that he will fight for the betterment of the lives of the people of Kanana. He added that he will fight to reduce the poverty that is rampant in the ward. He said that Gerald Estates still lacks a number of facilities among them schools, shopping facilities, post office and recreation centers for children. “These are the issues that I hope to address at the city council,” he said.
Asked if he will vie for office within the administrative structures of the BDP, especially since he was a very successful Secretary General at BPP, Gopolang said that he will definitely play a bigger role within the ruling party structures. “Obviously, I am a man of ambition, and I plan to give my best to serve the BDP,” he said. However, he revealed that he will remain committed to serving the present party leadership. “The BDP leadership is a people centered leadership, and I appreciate their concern for the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, BDP Deputy Executive Secretary, Fidelis Molao, confirmed yesterday that they continue to receive disgruntled members from the opposition into their fold.
“On Saturday, we will be launching our candidate for Ngwaketse West in Jwaneng. Part of the ceremony will include receiving a multitude of members from the BNF,” he said.