The battle for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Tonota South constituency primaries is among the many that will be hotly contested as the number of candidates vying for the constituency has quadrupled.
While media attention has mainly focused on incumbent Pono Moatlhodi and President Ian Khama’s right hand man and business associate, Thapelo Olopeng, there are other contestants who┬áfor some unexplained reasons┬áhave not┬áenjoyed the media limelight.
Former Francistown region chairman and Tonota Central Ward Councillor Botho Ntirang has confirmed in an interview that he is among those who have applied to contest in the primaries, and┬áare awaiting the party’s electoral board’s green light┬ábefore launching┬áa spirited campaign. The other candidate,┬áwho this publication gathers has applied┬áand is awaiting the vetting outcome,┬áis Lehoto Ntsima.
“I have submitted my name to contest the Tonota South BDP parliamentary primaries. It is known in the constituency that I am one of the contestants. I may not have attracted as much media attention as Moatlhodi and Olopeng but I am definitely in the race. Once the vetting has been concluded and given the go ahead to campaign, I will do so vigorously,” said Ntirang.
Asked if he had informed Moatlhodi and Olopeng, Ntirang said there is no┬áparty procedure compelling┬áhim to.
“There is nothing in the party rules governing the primaries that compels one to inform the incumbent and other candidates. I have, of course, casually informed both┬áMoatlhodi and Olopeng that I am contesting. Even Ntsima is aware that I have submitted my name to contest in the primaries,” said Ntirang.
He┬áadded that while he is aware that Moatlhodi and Olopeng are in the race, they duo have┬ánot formally informed him.
Ntirang had yesterday organized a rally┬áwhich was to be addressed by former Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Balopi and Labour and Home Affairs┬áMinister. The two could however┬ánot make it due to other engagements according to Ntirang.
The rally was intended to welcome new members into the party fold ahead of┬ánext year’s general election.
Ntirang cleared the┬ámist that his scheduled rally had been postponed explaining that the confusion arose from the fact that Balopi and Batshu would no longer be the main speakers.