Botsalo Ntuane over the weekend stepped up his campaign after reports emerged that party veteran Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri will challenge him for the position of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General. Reports indicate that Ntuane and his political mentor, BDP heavyweight Daniel Kwelagobe over the weekend upped the tempo, rallying their troops to action to deter forays from businessman Guma Moyo and President Ian Khama, who seem to have thrown their weight behind Matlhabaphiri and Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
BDP insiders have revealed how Kwelagobe dampened Matlhabaphiri’s spirits as he was languishing under the attention of President Khama during a tour of BDP structures in Molepolole over the weekend, sending a delegation to inform the BDP veteran that he will not support him if he stands against Ntuane.
Meanwhile, Ntuane reportedly hosted a group of supporters from a number of regions in Botswana at his campaign headquarters in Gaborone, at which they pledged their support for him. Except for Ghanzi and Kgalagadi, all regions south of Dibete were represented at the weekend meeting which explicitly endorsed Ntuane as the preferred Secretary General. “We met over the weekend as friends of Botsalo from south of Dibete to officially kick start his campaign. We pledged our support to him and discussed logistics and the way forward for our campaigns,” said a source.
The meeting was attended by among others, Gaborone region Secretary Kingsley Kgomoyarona as well as former MP’s Kavis Kario and Odirile Motlhale, who will coordinate the campaign. The meeting also attracted delegates from Serowe and Palapye. Political pundits have opined that the July congress will be a very contentious one for the BDP, as it has attracted too many candidates for the various central committee positions. For the first time in the history of the ruling party, the central committee positions will not be contested along the traditional Barata-Phathi and A-Team factional lines.