The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has cleared Trade and Industry minister, Dorcus Makgatho-Malesu, of charges that she is covertly campaigned in the Tswapong South constituency before the primary elections season.
This comes after the Assistant Minister of Agriculture and incumbent MP for Tswapong South, Oreeditse Molebatsi, complained to the party’s Secretariat that Makgatho-Malesu had launched her campaign and was already extending patronage to party members within the constituency.
Makgatho-Malesu was also accused of ingratiating herself to certain influential BDP members within the constituency.
“An inquiry by the region on issues leveled against another democrat was undertaken and the region found that these were just unfounded allegations,” said the BDP Secretary General, Mpho Balopi.
Party insiders say that Makgatho-Malesu has intimated that she plans to challenge Molebatsi for the constituency at the party’s primaries. Currently, she has no constituency as she was roped into parliament as a Specially Elected Member of Parliament.
“It was not as if there was a fight between Honourable Molebatsi and Honourable Makgatho-Malesu but allegations can divide the party and electorates and eventually the peace within the BDP,” said Balopi. “As a party, we are happy the issue has been resolved amicably.”
Balopi said that the region’s probe and report was done last month. He said that, nevertheless, the party hopes its members will respect the primary elections rules and regulations and restrain themselves from launching their candidacy for political office until the right time.
The BDP secretary general also disclosed that his party has not resolved when to go for its primaries.
“We are waiting for the Delimitation Commission because if we go for the primaries now, there might be some realignment or new constituencies which might, in turn, affect our primary elections schedule,” he said.
He added that although the primaries were still pending, what is certain is that his party will start in opposition held constituencies.
“Our first port of call will be opposition held constituencies,” said Balopi. He said going for early primaries in opposition held constituencies would increase the BDP’s chances of dislodging the opposition.
“We are going to do everything it takes to capture opposition held constituencies,” he stated.