In a show of defiance and indiscipline within the ranks of the opposition Botswana National Front, the sitting Gaborone City Council Mayor, Nelson Ramaotwana has been toppled by party colleague Harry Mothei for the position.
The BNF had endorsed Ramaotwana as its official candidate, instructing other BNF councilors to vote for him and not to contest against him.
Mothei got 18 votes, while Ramaotwana could only get 14. Ezekiel Dube managed to keep his position as Deputy Mayor.
In an election held today (Wednesday morning) a good number of Botswana National Front, Councillors surprised many by defying instructions from party head office to vote Mothei.
Mothei though a Botswana National Front member, is a specially elected by Minister. This has allowed charges against him of working in cahoots with Botswana Democratic Party to fester on.
The Secretary General of the opposition Botswana Congress Party Taolo Lucas said his party did not give any instructions to their councilors on how to vote.
“We gave them the leeway to vote for whoever they thought was more capable of the BNF two candidates [Mothei and Ramaotwana]. I suppose they thought Mothei more capable and supported him.’
The BNF Publicity Secretary Moeti Mohwasa said they were disappointed because their councilors defied party instructions.
“We will be waiting for a report on what really transpired before we take action against,” said the clearly disappointed Mohwasa.
Taolo Lucas said what is important is to realize that the BNF failed to bring order within their ranks.
“They should not blame the BCP. It is BNF tearing itself asunder. How can they have two candidates from within their ranks,” said Lucas.
Although the BNF is quick to accuse the BCP and to a certain extent the ruling Botswana Democratic Party of meddling, observers point out that the fact that Mothei stood against party leadership candidate and went on to win is a sign of much greater problems inside the BNF.
There has been talk of a sinister plot by some members of the Central Committee and Members of Parliament to defy and undermine the authority of party leader Otsweletse Moupo.
“We are going through serious problems,” said one youth leader.
“It is important that Moupo cracks the whip to instill discipline,” he continued.