Political friction between the Botswana Congress Party and the Botswana Movement for Democracy is rising at council level over the mayorship of the city of Gaborone.
The incumbent mayor, Haskins Nkayigwa, a BMD councilor under the Umbrella project, was elected to the position through the cooperation that included the Botswana National Front to head the Gaborone City Council.
“The whole scenario could be traced back to the Kgatleng District Council when the BNF councilors opted to join hands with BDP councilors and ejected the BCP chairperson in the area,” said BCP Gaborone Regional deputy chairperson, Lotty Manyapetsa.
He said that the same behavior was displayed by the party at Francistown recently where the BCP expected the BMD to rally behind the BCP mayor but abstained, thereby booting the BCP mayor out of office.
In the end, the BDP reclaimed the mayorship of the city of Francistown.
“We will be selling our idea to the councilors that they should not do anything with BMD, let alone vote for them,” said Manyapetsa, adding that although there are no elections looming at GCC, anything could happen as happened in Francistown and Kgatleng.
“We are used to these games,” he said.
BMD Chairperson, Nehemiah Modubule expressed concern at the fragmentation of opposition parties.
“It is unfortunate that opposition parties will not work together at council level,” he said, expressing concern that this trend might go as far as parliament.
“This means BDP would be taking over control of the areas in which the opposition dominated and that is retrogressive,” Modubule said.
He said had the BCP communicated to him about what transpired in Francistown, he would have given them his side of the story, adding that it is not good for the BCP to come to conclusions without proper consultation.
Currently BDP and the coalition parties are deadlocked at 18 councilors each, with the ruling party awaiting a chance to regain the GCC.