Members of the Botswana National Front‘s Temporary Platform were on Friday expected to grace the launch of Francistown South parliamentary candidate and former Botswana National Front think tank, Elmon Tafa, yesterday (Saturday).
Tafa told The Sunday Standard on Friday that former BNF heavyweights who have since fallen out with party president Otsweletse Moupo and his central committee had all confirmed that they would be attending his launch in Francistown.
Lobatse MP, Nehemiah Modubule, will be the keynote speaker while Gaborone West South MP, Robert Molefhabangwe, and Gaborone South MP, Akanyang Magama, are also expected to attend and speak at the launch. Other big names that will attend include former national elections board chair Lebohan Letsie and Peter Mothobi from Palapye.
Magama was also optimistic that the rally would be a resounding success, saying that he had been vigorously campaigning in the constituency and is confident that BNF members will defy Moupo’s autocratic rule and support him because they believe that he is a principled politician who has the interests of the BNF at heart.
“We expect BNF members to defy Moupo and lend support to us. His scare tactics are no longer working among party members,” he said.
The Temporary Platform will be further boosted by Akanyang Magama’s win over the BNF central committee on Thursday.
The BNF central committee lost its appeal against an earlier judgment by Justice Isaac Lesetedi, which nullified the BNF appeals board order for a re-run and ruled that Magama is the rightful candidate for the BNF in Gaborone South.
While Magama’s supporters and comrades are busy celebrating his win, many have already concluded that he will end up on the same platform as Tafa, Molefhabangwe, Modubule and others.
“There is no way that Moupo will agree to work with Magama. It is widely expected that he will be expelled from the party very soon,” they said.
But, despite what Temporary Platform supporters describe as a forgone expulsion, Magama’s presence immediately after such a significant victory against the BNF central committee will boost morale at Tafa’s launch.
The Temporary Platform has in the past accused BNF president Otsweletse Moupo of colluding with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party to ensure that the BNF does not win the 2009 general elections. They cited the BNF central committee’s continued expulsions of seasoned and sure-winner politicians like Magama, Molefhabangwe and Modubule, ahead of the general elections as evidence that Moupo and his central committee are not willing to challenge the Botswana Democratic Party for governance.