Francistown South has been a stronghold for its current Member of Parliament, Wynter Mmolotsi who crossed floors to join the AP when they broke away from the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), now however his constituents reveal that they are sceptical over his ability to retain his seat and indicate that they will not continue supporting him if he stands under the AP banner.
The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has made several attempts to win Francistown South from the opposition but to no avail. But it now seems plausible as people believe that new parties are confusing supporters and often struggle to take off.
Mmolotsi’s political career took off in 2010 when he was among the pioneers behind the formation of the BMD after defecting from the ruling BDP party. He went on to win the 2014 general election despite the hurdles and critics he faced when he left the BDP to form the BMD. Barely four years later he left the party he helped establish, to form yet another political entity; the AP, with his political ally Ndaba Gaolathe. However, concerns are being raised as to whether, come the 2019 general elections he will retain his position as MP for Francistown South as the electorate have not absorbed the principles of the new party.
At the recently held Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections, in preparation for the upcoming 2019 general elections, the city of Francistown was adorned in the colour red as members of the BDP bustled to elect candidates of their choice to represent them in council and parliament. What was alarming however, was the fact that on the very same day of the BDP primaries, the AP also held their very first primary elections in the region. Voter turn out was shockingly low.
In an interview with The Botswana Gazette Uyapo Nyeku who is the incumbent councillor at Phillip Matante East ward revealed that he was the only councillor in his party to be challenged in the entire country. “I was challenged by one Dimpho Phirinyana. Fortunately for me I am one step ahead of him and I managed to win 164 votes while he only got 92 votes,” he said.
Nyeku who is a former member of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) is confident that he will retain his seat in council next year during the general elections. He will be locking horns with vocal BDP specially nominated councillor Tuelo Zazambi. He said he is not aware of who will be representing the UDC as of yet.
Speaking on behalf of his MP, Nyeku said they as Francistown candidates have paved a road for themselves that many will have a difficult time dismantling. He said Mmolotsi and his team are planning on hosting an epic motorcade where they will engage 300 to 400 youth who will go around distributing their flyers and encouraging Batswana to register to vote. He said they are also planning a series of volleyball, netball and football tournaments over the independent holidays to appreciate their supporters as well as to encourage and remind them to register to vote.
“I am very confident that we will bag Francistown South once again next year. We are way ahead of our opponents. Every day I receive calls of people promising to give us even more votes in the next general elections than they did in 2014. We sleep well at night knowing that we have nothing and nobody to worry about,” he said.