Animosity Rises as BDP Primaries Near

  • Central Comittee asked to vet more candidates
  • Party structures accused of being partial to some candidates
  • Domkrag primaries could be in two weeks


Tension is escalating among Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidates as primary elections approach and the party’s Central Committee (CC) is inundated with complaints alleging breaches of rules.


Although dates for the primaries have yet to be officially announced, sources say they could take place in about two weeks.


The CC is expected to convene in early June to address the complaints, which implicate several prominent figures.




The Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti (Goodhope-Mmathethe), the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Annah Mokgethi (Gaborone Bonington North), the Minister of Lands Kefentse Mzwinila (Mmadinare), and Dr Thoiwe Thoiwe (Ramotswa) are among those implicated.


Accusations have also been directed at the party’s Secretary General, Kavis Kario, for alleged interference in some constituencies.


In the Gaborone North constituency, incumbent MP, Mpho Balopi, has long announced that he will not seek re-election in the 2024 general elections.


Seema versus rivals


The race to succeed him includes Boitshepo Bolele, Haskins Nkaigwa, Lotty Manyapedza, Tonny Ndebele, Michael Morapedi, Rebaone Seema, and Dikgang Makgalemele.


Sources say Seema has made significant inroads in the constituency, prompting some candidates to consider plans to have him vetted out of the primaries.


“He is a real threat to most of them, if not to all of them,” said a source. “It appears that some of his rivals are planning to team up against him.”


Mokgethi, Gare under siege


Ministers Annah Mokgethi and Karabo Gare – who are said to be close to President Mokgweetsi Masisi – also face fierce competition in their respective primaries.


But Gare has had to go on leave frequently due to health issues, allowing his challengers to gain ground.


He is being challenged by Malaika Sebetlela, Benny Stegling, Keebanetse Force, and Masego Mopai in the Moshupa-Manyana constituency.




At Gaborone Bonington North, Mokgethi will compete against Ookeditse Malesu, Poloko Pitwane, and Rosemary Rantsimane. Sources say Malesu poses a significant threat to her.


“There are numerous complaints against Pitwane, and he could be vetted out,” said another source. “Mokgethi has a case before the CC, and Malesu is causing real panic among them.”


Free pass 


The BDP has yet to decide on who will run the primaries for Maun East. The two initial candidates, Reaboka Mbulawa and Konstantinos Markus, were vetted out.


Sources have suggested that former director of Government Communications, Gomolemo Zimona, may be given a free pass to the general elections.