Accused of aligning with some candidate over others
FRANCISTOWN: Looming Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primaries in Francistown South constituency have ignited divisions within the party, with allegations flying about that party Chairman and Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi is “favouriing” and “endorsing” Lamodimo Dikomang, a parliamentary candidate, over others.
Primary elections in the opposition held constituency scheduled for next weekend pit Dikomang who is a former councilor against former MP Khumongwana Maoto and new entrant Modiri Jojo Lucas. Sources in the constituency say does not only enjoy the support of Masisi, but that of Tati East MP Samson Moyo Guma, a known ally of the Vice President. “Moyo believes Dikomang has the aggression of canvassing and convincing voters, therefore believes that she is the most credible parliamentary candidate compared to her two competitors. Instead of dismissing this Masisi instead has also aligned himself to Dikomang and this has caused division within our constituency because by virtue of his position he should not align himself to any candidate. By doing this as the leader he is setting a bad precedence,” a source close to the development pointed out.
One of the candidates, Lucas, however dismissed the rumours- insisting that Masisi was above board. “As the incoming President I do not believe he can do that because he knows well that he is our father. I want to warn those who peddle these rumours that they should leave Masisi out of this and respect him. Rather they should focus on their campaigns because Masisi is not in Francistown south voters roll,” he said sternly.
Maoto, another candidate- said rumours about Masisi were peddled by some campaign teams that want to “use” names of party leadership for their campaigns. “I believe these people are only using the leadership’s names thinking that they will gain more support. They should stop this and understand the leadership is all of us. Masisi is only waiting for the primary elections winner to support the candidate in the 2019 general elections,” he said.
For her part, Dikomang said the rumours linking her to Masisi are only meant to de-campaign her. “I was in the forefront of Masisi’s’ Chairmanship candidacy campaign but that does not guarantee that he should return favour by supporting me. I do not know why people are aligning Masisi to my campaign whilst there are lot of people who helped him ahead of Tonota congress but they are not pinpointed,” she said, pointing out that Guma and Moyo did not give her any special treatment.
While Masisi and Moyo could not be reached for comment, Francistown South Constituency Branch Chairman Uyapo Marobela said if indeed it is true that there is favoritism, it would be a cause for concern. “I have not yet received any formal complaints from the candidates but since this is a serious issue I will have to find out in our next meeting scheduled for this week,” Marobela told The Botswana Gazette.