Several Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councilors at the Francistown City Council (FCC) are allegedly plotting to oust incumbent mayor James Kgalajwe from the mayorship of Francistown.
Information reaching The Sunday Standard is that the former mayor and BDP councilor for Satellite South Ward, Billy Buti, is spearheading the campaign against Kgalajwe. It is alleged that he (Buti) and some of the BDP councilors are soliciting the support of opposition parties at the city council from both the BMD and the BCP against the mayor.
The BDP currently has ten council seats, BCP has seven seats and the BMD has five seats.
Buti, who will be battling it out with Phandu Skelemani in the primary elections for the coming 2014 general elections in the Francistown East Constituency, is said to be unhappy that Kgalajwe is not supporting his campaign as Francistown East candidate and he is busy de-campaigning him. Kgalajwe is said to be a firm supporter of Skelemani.
Buti is also alleged to have accused Kgalajwe of holding secret meetings in the Francistown East Constituency without his involvement.
A source within BDP circles who spoke on condition of anonymity said last week, that a bigger number of BDP councilors at the city council are fully supportive of Buti and even want him to wrestle the Francistown East Constituency from Skelemani.
“Most of the BDP councilors want Buti to win the constituency from Skelemani. However, Kgalajwe is a big supporter of Skelemani and a high number of councilors want him out of the position to punish him. Buti is also not happy with Kgalajwe for holding meetings without involving him in the constituency,” said the source.
The source, however, could not state who the preferred candidate for the position of mayor is.
Kgalajwe was elected mayor of Francistown last year after a vote of no confidence was passed against his predecessor, Botswana Congress Party (BCP) councilor Ephraim Maiketso, who has since challenged his removal at the Francistown High Court.
Another source at the city council revealed to the The Sunday Standard that sometime last week, Kgalajwe, who is well aware of the ploy, attempted to call a caucus meeting with his fellow BDP councilors to try and address the issue but failed.
“Kgalajwe is very devastated by the rumours and last week he attempted to call a caucus meeting to try and address the issue but the meeting failed,” said the source.
Reached for comment, Kgalajwe said that he is not aware of the plan to oust him. He, however, said that it would not be possible for the councilors to remove him as he is a hard worker and has the interest of people of Francistown at heart.
“I am not aware of any of the councilors who are secretly hatching a plan to oust me from my position as mayor of Francistown. I am confident that a lot of councilors at the city council, including those from the opposition parties are supporting me. I am also a person who believes in God and I believe he will protect me against all the evil,” he said.
Asked whether he supports Buti or not in his campaign for Francistown East Constituency, Kgalajwe reserved his comment.
“I cannot comment on that one, but I am fully confident that most of the councilors support me as mayor because I am doing a good job for the people of Francistown,” he said.
For his part Buti also rubbished the allegations saying that there are some individuals who want to tarnish his image and unnecessarily divert his attention. He could not confirm or deny that Kgalajwe is supporting his campaigns for Francistown East Constituency, adding that he will see after the primary elections.
“I am yet to see if he supports me after the primary elections. Currently I do not have a problem with Kgalajwe as a mayor,” he said.