FRANCISTOWN: As the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) race for party chairperson heats up, the recent new entrant Seteng Motalaote has reportedly withdrawn from the battle due to the pressure from the Mokweetsi Masisi camp and the mass exodus of his supporters to join other teams.
Those close to the development have informed The Botswana Gazette that the unknown Motalaote resolved to withdraw from the heated battle upon realization that he has been losing some of his supporters to his rivals. Motalaote was supposed to battle for the chairpersonship with BDP heavy weights which include former cabinet minister Ramadeluka Seretse, Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Member of Parliament for Tati-West Biggie Butale as well as the former Ambassador to the United States Tebelelo Seretse.
The Botswana Gazette source alleged that Masisi’s arrival in the race as well as the mass exodus of his supporters contributed to his withdrawal. The source alleged that though some BDP cadres have long persuaded him to stay on, Motalaote resolved to pull out following the VP’s arrival as he felt that this made his prospects of winning slim. “Upon the realization that he is losing most of his supporters, he felt that his is an uphill battle considering that he is wrestling against BDP heavy weights,” highlighted the source close to the development.
Though he could not confirm the development, one of the councilors who was in Motalaote’s team said “If indeed he has pulled out, it is an honorable thing to do because unlike his rivals he is failing to make inroads across the country. Also, what disadvantages him is that he is not known because he has never served in any party structures “.
However, on asking Motalaote about his alleged withdrawal, he was adamant that though some BDP members have begged him to withdraw because the VP has joined the race, he will not adhere to the call. “Some people have approached me persuading me to withdraw from the race in order to pave way for the VP but I told them that I am going ahead with my wish of contesting. I have made my stand clear that I will not withdraw from the race so my supporters should not panic,” he told The Botswana Gazette in an interview stressing that he is still in the race.
Recently when he declared his wish to join the Chairpersonship race, Motalaote did not want to be publicized in the media, the development which BDP members said was an indication that he is not sure if he really wanted to contest.