The former Botswana Democratic Party secretary general, Kentse Rammidi, who deserted the party recently to become an independent member of parliament, has heightened tensions within opposition ranks as the parties chase his signature.
The Botswana Congress Party, Botswana Movement for Democracy and, lately, the Botswana National Front are busy jostling and shoving each other to lure the ex-BDP kingpin into their fold.
“It is natural for any party to recruit new party members and our party is no exception,” admitted BNF publicity secretary, Moeti Mohwasa, as he attempts to play-down the battle. He added that for the sustainability of every party, new party members should be recruited to augment existing membership.
He would not comment on how they are trying to lure Rammidi into their fold.
“Whether there is any approach or discussion with the candidate, I will not comment on the matter because it is a private issue,” said Mohwasa. He, however, conceded: “Someone of Rammidi caliber would be a good boost to the party.”
Rammidi has, however, kept his critics and possible political suitors guessing.
He has since maintained he was not in a hurry to join any political party but those closest to him hint he is leaning more towards the BCP.
BCP secretary general, Taolo Lucas, warned colleagues to strike a balance between competition and cooperation when it comes to Rammidi.
“We will compete for the attention of Rammidi and in the process lose focus of the delicate and complex cooperation equation. It is an unavoidable challenge that the opposition should navigate with due care and diligence. If they do not, they may just breathe some oxygen into a dying party,” he added.
Addressing a rally in Francistown recently, Rammidi himself, probably not amused by the rough tackles executed by the parties’ leaderships under his nose, indicated he would quit politics and go home should the coalition effort flop.