Expelled members of the Botswana National Front (BNF) have resolved to contest the 2014 general elections as independent candidates.
The two members, Lemogang Ntime and Gabriel Kanjabanga, have successfully convinced other active members to contest the next elections as independent candidates.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Kanjabanga said he will be contesting in Gaborone North constituency while Ntime will contest Kweneng East constituency.
Other active BNF members who will contest as independent candidates are; Moses Kajane (Ledumang ward), Rex Seharane (Tsholofelo South) and Thomas (Boribamo ward). Kajane is suing BNF over the voting symbol.
“Gaborone North has been allocated to the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), so I will contest that constituency representing the BNF. I will be telling people that the BNF is not represented and I am its representative. I will also be campaigning using BNF programmes,” he declared.
Kanjabanga advised many BNF members to stand as independent candidates in order to protect and preserve the BNF. He said should many of the candidates win, they will after the elections regroup and take over the BNF as by then it will be non-existent.
He did not mince his words in denouncing the umbrella party saying they are now vindicated as the project is falling apart.
“In the past two years when opposition talks began, some of us who were opposed to the model that was being adopted warned that BNF will be non-existent. When Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) was formed, we were there, as we were involved in its formation and it never worked. We advised on the umbrella model and made it clear that the umbrella will kill the BNF. We were condemned and labelled jealous and bitter, now we are vindicated,” he said.
Kanjabanga said now many BNF members agree with them because they can see for themselves. “Some even want to stand as independent candidates; we want them to contest so that they salvage the BNF.”
He said so far they have support in Gantsi region, North Central, South Central, Boteti and Kweneng but the problem was that many of these members are not allowed to raise their voices in BNF gatherings.
Kanjabanaga said they will fight hard by all means to protect the BNF from being dismantled as it is their only political home. He said one way of protecting the party is by filing cases before the courts and holding public rallies.
He said what was disheartening about the umbrella was that the BMD was collapsing because its members are returning to the BDP.
“Its purpose was to destabilise the opposition. The BMD guys are the ones who have been running the BDP for a long time. Some of you will remember that when Gomolemo Motswaledi was the chairperson of BDP youth wing, he once called a press conference criticising Survival International (SI) for ruining our economy. Can he now lead the opposition?” he rhetorically asked.