Specially Elected Councilor and cleric, Rupert Hambira, is likely to take on opposition MP Dumelang Saleshando in the battle for the Gaborone Central Constituency.
The BDP wants to oust the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leader in Gaborone Central. The party last held the constituency about a decade ago before Margaret Nasha was defeated by Saleshando.
The battle for Gaborone Central looks set to be on the strength of the individual candidates. It normally entails more than house to house campaigns. The constituency houses Gaborone’s working class, the University of Botswana, Prisons and the Botswana Defence Force (BDF).
The contest in Gaborone Central has, over the years, been made popular by regular and lively debates among the parliamentary candidates from across the political divide.
Hambira has thrown his name into the ring at Gaborone Central as a possible contestant.
Former councilor Kgomotso Mogapi also wants to represent the BDP at Gaborone Central. Others include Tumisang Hill and Lebogang Masape.
In the 2009 General Elections, despite losing to Saleshando, Mogapi pulled a considerable number of votes. However, party insiders say the ruling party leadership is backing Hambira as the party’s parliamentary candidate ahead of the primaries.
The dark horse that will emerge from the BDP primaries at Gaborone Central has to deal with the vigor of his opposition opponents.
On the one hand will be the outspoken BCP leader and, on the other, an equally forceful politician, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who will contest under the Umbrella For Democratic Change banner.
Over the weekend the BDP’s Gaborone Central constituency submitted names of nominations for the party’s primaries to be confirmed by the Central Committee next week Monday at a meeting expected to last for the whole day.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the BDP’s electoral board, Parks Tafa, has confirmed that his party has completed the vetting process of candidates ahead of the primaries.
Tafa said that a central committee meeting to be held next week on Monday will evaluate the applications and endorse or reject the applications ahead of the primaries.
“The final approval will be done by the Central Committee and this process will pave way for the primaries sometime in Septermber,” said Tafa.
He added that, all in all, there are a few unopposed parliamentary candidates, with 204 candidates having applied to contest as parliamentary candidates.
At least over 2400 have applied to contest the primaries for municipal seats.