Monday, November 28, 2022

Magama tipped to contest Gaborone South parliamentary elections on BCP ticket

Former Botswana National Front (BNF) Secretary General and Member of Parliament for Gaborone South, Akanyang Magama, who this week defected to the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), is likely to stand as the party’s parliamentary candidate for the Gaborone South constituency.

Magama along with Chillyboy Rakgare, formerly with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party(BDP), were officially welcomed by the BCP President Dumelang Saleshando at a press conference held in Gaborone on Thursday.

“I am willing to stand as long as the party offers me an opportunity,” said Magama in response to media enquires on whether he would run for political office.

Magama is a former MP who has been described by the BCP leader as “possessing skills that are in short supply in our National Assembly”. He lost the Gaborone South constituency to the BDP’s Kagiso Molatlhegi in the 2009 General Elections.

Speaking shortly after Magama’s response, Saleshando said that it would be a highly unwise exercise to recruit top politicians and not deploy them where they could best help the party.

“I am encouraging him to stand for political office if he wants to and wherever he wants,” said Saleshando.

Magama told members of the press and some BCP members who graced the briefing that he quit the BNF because the leadership has grown authoritative and intolerant of divergent political views.

He said as a stable and credible political party, he found the BCP to be the only political that can oust the BDP from power.

He said after pursuing the BCP policy documents it was clear there were no serious ideological differences between the BNF and BCP.

“My decision to decamp was principled…For those of my colleagues who remain in the BNF, please seriously review your methods of leadership selection…handpicking candidates can have serious consequences for a political organisation,” he stated.

The ex legislator said that he is not on a mission to castigate his former party let alone the envisaged Umbrella project.

“My focus will not be to castigate those who are at the BNF. My task will be to articulate BCP policies and assist the party to grow,” he said.

“The tendency to castigate each other as opposition parties is extremely undesirable…there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics,” he added.

For his part, Rakgare said that he had quit the ruling party because it had no interest in prioritizing the youth.

He said that he finds the BCP inspiring adding that he would immediately engage in a robust recruitment drive to grow the party in his home village of Moshupa.

He revealed that he had found the BDP moribund because there was no room for internal debate. He said the Youth at the BDP were only of utility to the party if they conducted house to house campaigns.

“I wish to promise all my comrades that from here I shall start to hit the ground running….we need to adopt a robust recruitment strategy in pursuit of luring more young people into our party,” declared Rakgare.

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