Opposition political parties say the hefty amount of money demanded from those aspiring to become councillors and parliamentarians during primary elections could deter┬áthem from seeking political office.
The amount, ranging from P2000 to P5000, is a contribution towards the party primary elections.
Opposition parties claim this could disadvantage many aspirants from standing for election.
The Botswana Democratic Party has defended the move, stating that the party has not received any complaints from any members disadvantaged.
Botswana Movement for Democracy, Secretary General, Winter Mmolotsi, bemoaned the way other parties are demanding hefty amounts of money from those aspiring for positions of councilors and parliamentarians among political parties.
The legislator indicated that the disadvantaged groups who have leadership skills are unable to stand for those positions because they are poor.
“People are just robbed of the opportunity to have representatives who have the ability to lead because they don’t have money. The positions goes in favour of those who have money though their leadership abilities are questionable. We could end up having someone as representative because he has money not because he has the ability to lead,” said Mmolotsi.
┬áBotswana Congress Party’s Taolo Lucas says that their members are forced to contribute towards the democracy┬ádue to the absence of political funding.
He said that they have affirmative action where the youth, women and disabled people are expected to pay a less amount when aspiring for council and parliamentarian elections. ┬á┬áHe said that people are making sacrifices to defence of democracy.
“It is only the BDP which claims that they uphold democratic principles forgetting that we as opposition parties foot the bill for the democracy in our country,” added Lucas.
┬áBotswana Democratic Party, Secretary General, Mpho Balopi, said that it is not stated anywhere that┬áit is compulsory for those who want to stand for positions to contribute such money.
Balopi said that there has never been an individual who has indicated that they have challenges when it comes to contributing the money demanded from councillos and parliamentarians. ┬á
“We cannot believe that they are such people because they have never come forward to complaint about the money required from them. Maybe they┬áhave approached you as the media,” said Balopi.