After successfully holding peaceful fresh primary elections in the controversy ridden Francistown West constituency over the weekend which were won by Ignatius Moswaane, it seems troubles at the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) are far from over.
Moswaane won a landslide victory over the weekend after garnering 923 votes against three other candidates, Raoboy Mpuang (426), Peter Ngoma (270), Angelina Sengalo (42) and Esther Mokgosi (23).
Asked to comment on Moswaane’s victory in the fresh primaries, Marobela reserved his comment saying that the BDP never bothered to inform or indulge him about the fresh election. He said that he only learnt about the fresh primary election in the media.
“To be honest with you I do not know anything about the fresh primary election because I learnt of it in the media. The BDP never even bothered to consult me about the said elections. For now we can just wait for the outcome of their appeal at the court of appeal as it was their right to appeal,” he said.
Last year, BDP was barred from nominating a candidate for the Francistown West by-election following court proceedings launched by Whyte Marobela who lost the party’s initial primary elections to Moswaane.
His complaint was that the primary elections were marred by irregularities. Only two opposition parties contested the by-election, Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and two independent candidates. The elections were won by Dr Habaudi Hubona of BCP.
The courts had ordered the BDP central committee to hear and adjudicate on Marobela’s grievances before proceeding with the elections. ┬áIn the judgment delivered by Tshepo Motswagole late last year, Moswaane and the BDP were barred from submitting the candidacy in the run-up for the by- elections.
Despite the court orders, the BDP leadership resolved to call fresh primary elections in preparation for the upcoming general elections which were held over the weekend.
BDP has lodged an appeal before the Court of Appeal against Marobela for the courts to overturn their decisions.
Some BDP members are of the view that the party made a very big blunder by not resolving Marobela’s protest before calling fresh elections which might finally be nullified if the BDP loses the appeal.
┬á“I think they made a terrible mistake by calling fresh primaries pending the resolution of Marobela’s case. Should the BDP lose the appeal, the ruling party is likely to suffer another devastating blow as Moswaane’s victory could be nullified. It was important for them to make peace with Marobela before calling for fresh primary elections,” said a BDP member.
Another BDP member said that should the BDP lose its appeal before the courts, there will be more trouble in the Francistown West constituency. He said that it is better if they settled their issue with Marobela out of court.
However, in an interview with The Telegraph, Marobela, said that the BDP has since furnished his lawyer, Obonye Jonas with appeal papers in an endeavor to overturn the courts’ ruling against him.
“They served court papers to my lawyer stating that they are appealing against the court order,” he said.