Feeling hard done by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) leadership in his protest against the Tati West primaries which he lost to newcomer Reverend Biggie Butale, ┬álong time activist and Nlaphwane ward councillor Farai Bonyongo, whose term comes to an end towards this year’s general election, has resigned from the ruling BDP to contest as an independent (mokoko).
He confirmed in an interview with The Telegraph that he is no longer with the party.
“Yes, I have resigned and will contest as an independent because nobody in the party leadership was prepared to listen to give me a fair hearing over the fraudulent manner in which I lost the primaries. I worked hard for the party in the past but the BDP leadership failed to appreciate my efforts. Had it not been for some of us, Charles Tibone would not have made it to parliament for the past two terms. We have been dumped for a complete newcomer and the only option is to go solo,” said Bonyongo in a brief telephone interview.
He said if anyone felt that he was yoked in the BDP eternally, it is time for him to prove that he has the guts and following to make it on his own.
“I have begun my campaign in earnest and am waiting for the President to call the election. I have a good following which is disgruntled by the treatment I was given during the protest. My followers are adamant that they will give me the support to get to parliament to prove my worth,” said Bonyongo.
Sources close to the BDP confirmed in various interviews that Bonyongo was among Tibone’s backbone campaigners against Robert Muzila after the establishment of Tati West following the 2001 Delimitation which created the constituency.
“Had it not been for Bonyongo’s unwavering campaign and support, Tibone would not have beaten Muzila. He used all his energy and resources to ensure that his man (Tibone) won and that is what happened. The opposition Botswana Peoples Party was a serious threat to reclaim the constituency that it had lost when the late Chapson Butale beat Kenneth Nkhwa,” said the source.
However, some sources are adamant that Bonyongo will not make it to parliament because the people he was working with are staunch BDP members and would not want to be associated with somebody who has decided to leave the party when they have eclipsed the BPP.