BCP endorses AP candidate
- Prefers Mmolotsi over BMD candidate
- Says he is the only capable opposition candidate
FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Francistown regional caucus has resolved to endorse Alliance for Progressive (AP) candidate for Francistown South Wynter Mmolotsi in the coming 2019 general elections.
The decision was necessitated due to the failure by the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) fielding a suitably capable candidate to wrestle the constituency from Mmolotsi. The constituency held by the BMD, was won under an Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) ticket in the 2014 general elections. Following the formation of AP late last year BMD was left without presence in the constituency, prompting its members to join the new party. As a result of the BMD split the BCP remained the sole UDC partner with a visible presence in the constituency. The lack of BMD presence in the region gave rise overtures between the two parties to enable the constituency to be mandated to the BCP, BMD declined the overtures, an internal BCP source reveals.
The BCP had hoped to be mandated to contend the Francistown South constituency on behalf of the UDC, arguing that they are the only visible UDC partner and that therefore BMD should consider allowing them to contest the constituency under the UDC banner.
However, the refusal by BMD to allow for the constituency to be mandated by the BCP has ignited a rivalry between the two UDC members, which has resulted in the BCP Francistown region caucus to resolve to endorse AP over BMD.
The decision to endorse Mmolotsi, according to those close to the development, is a contentious move that was discussed within the party’s WhatsApp group. According to party insiders after a thorough consultation in the WhatsApp group the regional caucus agreed that they should endorse and vote Mmolotsi in the coming 2019 general elections as he is the only capable opposition candidate. “We have agreed to endorse and elect him in the general elections. We arrived at this decision upon realization that though BMD declined to mandate us to oversee the constituency they have been left paralyzed and without a presence there. In fact, the party is non-existent in the area though they do not want to admit it. All the structures have collapsed and this is going to be difficult to canvas support for a party that has no base. As we speak we are not sure if they have found a candidate,” revealed the source.
Speculation is that Tiro Ntsima is likely to be the BMD candidate for Francistown South constituency.
Earlier this year BMD persuaded BCP activist Gaone Lewanika to join them in order to have him contest the Francistown South candidacy. BMD’s efforts proved to be unsuccessful however, after the party sought to impose conditions on Lewanika prior to his rejoining the BMD.
Mmolotsi is expected to battle it out against the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) new entrant Modiri Jojo Lucas.
Reached for comment BCP Francistown Regional Chairman Dickson Dingalo claimed ignorance to the reports. “I am not aware of any platform that discussed and agreed to endorse Mmolotsi in the coming 2019 general elections,” Dingalo dismissed allegations in an interview.