The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) period for expression of interest for the 2017-2019 Central Committee elections elapsed Wednesday 1st March 2017 marking the beginning of the race for the Presidency of the party.
The Telegraph has obtained the names of those who have shown interest to contest the top positions of the party.
The fight for the party chairmanship as for the names of aspirant BDP members who have expressed interest is between the Vice President also Moshopa-Manyana Member of Parliament Mokgweetsi Masisi and Minister of Infrastructure Science and Technology also Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe East Nonofo Molefhi.
Three names have been submitted for the position of Secretary General (SG) of the party, the incumbent SG Botsalo Ntuane has shown interest; Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Health also Member of Parliament for Shoshong constituency Philip Makgalemele also put his name. The list further communicates the return of Jacob Nkate as he wishes to claim the party Secretary General position.
A one-time Secretary General, Nkate chose cabinet over party when President Ian Khama decreed that ministers could not double in senior party positions.
The decree was later reversed after it was deemed self-defeating.
The incumbent Deputy Secretary General (DSG) also Minister of Defence Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi is defending his position.
Kgathi will be up against former Botswana Democratic Party Youth League (BDPYL) President Andy Boatile.
Boatile is also a specially elected councillor.
The current Party Treasurer Satar Dada remains unmarked as has been the case for most of the last thirty years.
The fight for the position of Deputy Treasurer is between Jagdish Shah and Mpho Balopi. Shah is the incumbent Deputy Treasurer while Balopi is former BDP Secretary General.
Sources within the Party say so far every aspirant candidate is running as independent, there are no alliances formed, no lobby lists compiled, this is so because President Ian Khama is said to be against lobby lists.
The party Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane could not confirm nor deny the names mentioned.
“The names will be publicized at the BDP National Council on March 25. I am sure waiting has never killed anyone; therefore I cannot refute or confirm the names you are asking about,” said Ntuane.
However, it is expected that lobby lists will take shapes after the party’s national council though the expression of interest. The party has encouraged those who may still wish to contest and have not submitted papers for their expression of interest to do so as they will not be barred from expressing their interest in contesting for position within the ruling BDP.