Battle for Francistown mayoral position intensifies

FRANCISTOWN: As the majority parties position themselves for the control of the councils, the battle for Francistown mayoral seat has intensified with four aspirants. At the battleground lie three nominated councilors; Sylvia Muzila, former Francistown Mayor James Kgalajwe, Tuelo Zazambi, alongside Itekeng ward councilor, Lesego Kwambala.
Initially, the 13 Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) elected councilors agreed to shun all the five nominated councilors who have aspirations of the mayoral position. However, they later agreed to only give Muzila, former Francistown District Commissioner, the green light. Though efforts to talk to her were futile, NorthCast is reliably informed that BDP councilors from both the Francistown South and East constituencies have agreed to support Muzila as a way of rewarding and honouring her.
The source said they took the decision of endorsing Muzila after considering that she is the only BDP candidate who failed to secure a constituency in Francistown region. Muzila wrestled for Francistown South in the general elections but lost to Wynter Mmolotsi of the Umbrella for Democratic Change. “She was the only female in the region vying for a parliamentary position. So considering all these, we agreed to honour her for her bravery. By so doing, we will be rewarding and honouring her,” said the source.
In addition, the source said they have three councilors from Francistown West who have already joined forces to rally behind Muzila. NorthCast is reliably informed that Muzila has emerged as the favourite among her three rivals.
On the other hand, Kgalajwe, who confirmed his aspirations for the position is hoping that the Francistown Investment Forum (FIF) initiative that he spearheaded will garner him the much needed support. He was the Francistown Mayor and his term ended just before the general elections. He is hoping that he be elected back for the purpose of continuity. He is also the Chairperson of FIF.
What is likely going to work against him is that other councilors contended that he should have contested for the general elections if he wanted continuity. “We believe that if Kgalajwe really wanted continuity, he could have tried his luck in the just ended general elections. So he should not use this initiative as a campaign tool,” the defiant councilors contended.
Kwambala also confirmed his interests of being the Mayor of the second largest city in the country, highlighting that he is optimistic that the youth will support him. On the other hand, he believes that he has better chance of winning the seat as he already has the needed numbers. “It is true that I am one of the councilors vying for the seat. What I can tell you is that I have already gained more support, so if things do not change, I am in a better position to win the seat,” he said.
He emphasised the need for party elders to give the youth the opportunity to lead in an effort to empower them to be future leaders. “So I believe I have all the qualities to lead this city should the councilors endorse me in large numbers,” Kwambala said.