Sources within the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) said this week that a decision has been taken that Deputy Speaker who is also Member of Parliament for Tonota, Pono Moatlhodi will contest the 2014 general elections as the UDC parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
There have been questions and uncertainty over who would ultimately represent the UDC in Tonota.
Moatlhodi recently defected to UDC after he was defeated by Thapelo Olopeng in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primaries.
According to sources close to the matter a delegation was sent to Tonota last week to assess the situation.
A decision was taken to allow Moatlhodi and Maokaneng Bontshetse to talk among themselves on who should stand.
Insiders say an agreement was reached by the two men that Moatlhodi should stand. “The matter is not yet official but the party is of the view that Moatlhodi will represent the UDC.”
Moatlhodi is expected to be launched by the party President Duma Boko on the 1st of July. Bontshetse declined to comment directing this publication to the secretary general who also directed The Telegraph to the party publicity secretary, Moeti Mohwasa. Mohwasa said, “The party never came to a decision of that kind. What I know is that there will be Moathodi’s welcome rally on the 1st July in Tonota South,” he said. Political analyst Leonard Sesa said the move is fraught with risks of dividing the UDC in the constituency.
“What are BNF electoral regulations saying about the primaries electoral process? Moatlhodi just joined the BNF and now he is allowed to stand as area parliamentary candidate whilst on the same time there is a qualified candidate who won the party primaries. It really shows that the UDC neglects issues of youth empowerment. I thought the people of Tonota would want to see someone with a fresh mind. Moatlhodi had his time he managed what he managed and failed where he failed.┬á Sometimes a youthful mind is needed,” Sesa said.
He said that he foresees factions or divisions between those who rally behind Bontshetse and those who rally behind Moatlhodi.
“We are approaching the elections and I hope BNF as a party knows what they are doing and they have prepared for the outcome. What is disappointing most is that we never hear of reactions or advice from other umbrella parties. Every time when issues crop up the BNF is at the forefront. May be they want to take advantage that Moatlhodi is the incumbent area MP, well that could bring results and I wish them luck but what message are they sending to the loyal- long serving members. Is it fair?” he said.