The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has no choice but to conduct the Primary Elections in the remaining 10 constituencies that are held by the opposition parties.
In the 18 opposition constituencies, the BDP has since decided that it will not undertake the controversial elections dubbed Bulela Ditswe in 8 constituencies. Often times, the elections leave the party divided, costing it at general elections. Apart from the unopposed 8, the primary elections for other areas are slated for next year January, 20.
At the last General Elections, the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) won seventeen (17) constituencies while Botswana Congress Party got away with only three (3). Bagalatia Aarone and Isaac Davids would later leave Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and UDC for BDP leaving opposition parties with only 18 Member of Parliament (MP’s) seats while Tawana remained independent. Another five more, also from UDC jumped ship to the newly formed Alliance for Progressives (AP).
The BDP Bulela Ditswe as usual is expected to be a thriller with hearts likely to be broken. Long time MP and ex cabinet minister Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri is expected to try his luck again for the upcoming primaries, at his former constituency of Molepolole North. He will battle it out with Oabile Ragoeng and Botsalo Rabogadi at the area held by UDC’s Mohammed Khan.
Another former Minister, Patrick Masimolole will contest in Mogoditshane, which registered the highest number of candidates, against President Lt. Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s blue eyed boy and youthful philanthropist Tshephang Mabaila. Other contenders in the constituency are Kgang Kgang, Emmanuel Otusitswe as well as Mogosi Tshiamo who all want to topple Sedirwa Kgoroba of AP. Specially Elected legislator, Mephato Reatile who is close to President Khama’s younger brother, Tshekedi Khama has also thrown his name in the ring again.
He will contest for the Jwaneng/Mabutsane area with former Jwaneng Town Council Mayor Johana Basemi as well as Dibeela Shobashoba. Currently the area is under UDC, under the incumbency of Shawn Ntlhaile. All eyes will also be on the self-exiled Bakgatla Paramount chief Kgafela Kgafela’s younger brother Mmusi Kgafela who is on a bid to represent the BDP at parliament; he is scheduled to contend with Leagajang Batlhalefi, both of whom want to substitute Gilbert Mangole of UDC.
In addition, long time foes Shima Monageng and Kabo Morwaeng are also expected to battle it out for Molepolole South in which the winner will go on to compete against UDC’s Tlamelo Mmatli. Christopher Nthuba who was once suspended and barred from contesting in the past Bulela Ditswe is scheduled to try his luck against Pelonomi Bantsi in Gaborone Bonnington South- the parliamentary area currently occupied by AP President Ndaba Gaolathe.
In AP legislature Pius Mokgware’s backyard of Gabane/Mmankgodi, three; Joseph Makati, Pius Ntwayagae and Phillip Mokento will scuffle to face the MP. For Ramotswa, Banyana Segwe, Lefoko Moagi and Lentswe Monare will have an encounter in a bid to bring down the incumbent Samuel Rantuana of UDC.
Away from Gaborone and the surrounding areas, the former television personality Greg Losibe will in Gantsi North battle against John Tshipe. The winner will then face UDC’s Noah Salakae at the next national polls. Wynter Mmolotsi of AP awaits a winning candidate at BDP’s Bulela Ditswe between Lamodimo Dikomang, Jojo Lucas and Khumongwana Maoto.
A peep into the list of candidates in the BDP’s Bulela Ditswe indicate that party young Turks like Botsalo Ntuane and Odirile Motlhale have together with cabinet minister, Unity Dow, who is also a former Judge of the High Court thrown in the towel and will not be contesting in 2019. The Bulela Ditswe also comes at a time when the highest court in the land has barred Public Servants from voting in primary elections.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.