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BDP plans to ambush Tshekedi’s launch

A ferocious battle between Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), to win the Serowe West constituency has drove the two parties to stage their massive launches same day next weekend, with the ruling party planning to suspend all their national activities for the launch.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi, will launch Moemedi Dijeng, while BPF through their patron, Ian Khama, will also be unveiling their new catch in Tshekedi Khama. Dijeng replaced Tshekedi as BDP candidate following the latter’s resignation from the party last week. Tshekedi was citing failure for corrective action against BDP Women Wing Chairperson Dorcas Makgato, by the party as the watershed point. He expressed grief at what Makgato said about his late father, hoping the party would have taken action but it was not to be.

Since independence, the constituency has been held by the BDP and TK’s defection to the BPF has sent a chilling warning which suggests that the BDP dominance could be over; reason being he is the younger brother to the area’s paramount chief and the royal family have been strong in most constituencies they contest in. On the other hand, the BDP has also drafted a counter plan to neutralise a possibly high tempo launch by the newly formed party.

With Masisi going to launch Dijeng, party strategists have suggested that in order for the BDP to make a statement, all constituencies should be present at the launch. Though the proposal is yet to be adopted, it looks certain that the party will implement it. Already a star rally that was to be officiated by Masisi in Maun West, on Saturday, this however has been cancelled. “He will only attend Kgosi Tawana’s birthday party in the morning then leave for Serowe afterwards to officiate at the launch,” shared a source within the party, on Thursday afternoon.
 


Other activities that have been moved to Sunday includes; Francistown West candidate Ignatius Moswaane’s launch by President Masisi and another star rally in Maun East, to be addressed by party Chairman and Vice President Slumber Tsogwane. All these have been moved to Sunday as a gesture of how serious the party intends to redeem itself in the Bangwato capital. This development has been welcomed by many within the party including cabinet ministers who even added that: “I wholly agree with this and my thought is H.E should make a directive that all MP candidates should go there to make sure that we paint Serowe red.”

If suggestion to have all MPs fails, the party is still contemplating to make another statement, “but let’s not halt all activities country-wide, we can send teams from various constituencies to boost the launch,” added another party big-wig. The defection by TK who is the son to the BDP’s founding father, Seretse Khama, has posed a threat to the ruling party, with its Campaign Manager Tebelelo Seretse admitting it will cost them. Part of the reasons BDP wants to “ambush” the BPF launch is to neutralise it and try by all means to demonstrate how strong the BDP is in the area.

All the while, there are some within the party who believe the party should not try to take BPF head on by launching on the same day. “I don’t think it is wise, if it is same day with Tshekedi, it wouldn’t look good,” advised another minister. At the time of going to print, Seretse who is National Campaigns Manager and Serowe overseer, was not available to comment as she was too busy for an interview. She however did confirm that “indeed Masisi will launch Dijeng on the 12th”.

Party Secretary General Mpho Balopi, could not talk to this publication as his mobile phone rang unanswered. In the last elections, Tshekedi won the constituency by 5401. He was followed by UDC’s Rolent Kambule, who managed 948 and Botswana Congress Party’s (BCP) Edwin Seabe garnering only 431.

The relationship between Khama and Dijeng has always been rocky ahead of the party’s primary elections. Khama had wanted Dijeng who was challenging him, to be barred from contesting, saying the latter had contravened the party’s code of conduct. TK went further to drag the party to the courts of law when ‘the party defended Dijeng’s candidacy.’

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