The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) over the weekend welcomed former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) disgruntled members led by former Pitsane council candidate, Carlson Teemane who defected to the Botswana National Front (BNF) from the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) in 2005 after he lost in the 2004 elections.
Speaking to this publication after being welcomed to the BDP, Teemane said he quit the UDC because of lack of internal democracy. He lamented that during his campaign as a council candidate for the Pitsane Ward he was mistreated. “I complained to the party leadership both at the constituency and at the headquaters level that James Mathokgwane was campaigning for the BDP councillors, but no action was ever taken against him, this was reflected in the election results when only one UDC councillor emerged victorious alongside Mathokgwane,” he said.
Teemane said for him, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when he expressed interest to run against Kgosi Lotlamoreng II in the primary elections for the Goodhope Mabule by-election and he was lampooned both by the UDC members and leadership. Teemane, who was welcomed to the BDP together with another former council candidate for Rakhuna Ward Kgotlaetsile Makgetha and their followers, said he migrated with about 200 UDC members. He said he only got acceptance of his membership last week Friday hence he still has to go around the ward notifying people and bringing others on board.
Meanwhile, in the BDP camp, some people in BCP colours attended candidate Eric Molale’s pre-launch. This follows rumours that some suspended BCP members will join the BDP. Addressing the pre-launch rally, BDP Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane had to aknowledge them; “Ke a le bona ba botalanyana, le utwaletse dikganngnyana, mme ga ise e nne nako, re santse re baakanya,” he said, hinting that the party will welcome new BCP members soon.
Ntuane slammed BDP members for having voted for UDC’s Mathokgwane stating that it made no sense for them to vote for almost all BDP councillors and not for the Member of Parliament. Various speakers including cabinet ministers Shaw Kgathi, Botlogile Tshireletso and Kitso Mokaila amongst others called on Barolong to deny their Kgosi the vote as he is best suited as their traditional leader. They stated that Molale was the best candidate as he has governance experience as the longest serving Permanent Secretary to the President.
For his part. Molale promised to represent Barolong’s interests and not dump them as Mathokgwane did. He said the BCP candidate Comfort Maruping is his relative, and he described him as a quarrelsome person who likes opposing, just for the sale of it. “I will only speak of Maruping since I know him, he likes opposing very much, I always tell him that even if his party can attain power he will leave it for opposition, as for the other candidate I won’t say anything because I do not know him,” he said.
Molale’s runner up in the primary elections, Fankie Motsaathebe who had gone as far as drafting court papers in protest of the results was the Master of Ceremonies at the pre-launch rally which was also graced by solidarity messages from other primaries fatalities Kopo Mononi, Phillip Sebakile and Richard Mogatle who all pleaded with their supporters to help take Molale to Parliament.