- Overlooks its members’ desire to represent the party
- Members question the move
- Ignores youth league’s proposal
- Insist the BMD activist remained under UDC despite expulsion
FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Congress Party (BCP) has, through a consensus, endorsed a Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) member as their parliamentary candidate for the Francistown south constituency over its aspirants who also forwarded the names to be considered.
The BCP has also ignored the youth league’s proposal to allocate the constituency to its youth as a way of showing support to the adopted affirmative action which seeks to empower the latter and women in contesting for political positions.
After the re-distribution of constituencies that initially belonged to expelled Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) partner BMD, Francistown South was re-distributed to the BCP. However upon the allocation due to limited time to hold primary elections the party leadership opted for a consensus candidate. On the backdrop of this Former BCP councillor David Tawele declared his wish to represent the party while on the other hand the Youth League also proposed in writing to be given the constituency, precisely its President Tlhabologo Furniture.
However the Regional Committee and constituency branch snubbed its members and opted for BMD activist Tiroyaone Ntsima, the development that has left the members perplexed and in discontent. What baffles the disgruntled members is that Ntsima is a member of a party that is not part of the opposition coalition therefore BCP is setting a bad precedence, this publication has learnt. Ntsima initially represented the UDC before the expulsion of the BMD. But consequently even after the expulsion he continued working with UDC partners in the same constituency.
Disgruntled BCP members wondered why the party endorsed the BMD candidate over its members who have also declared their interest in representing the party. “How could BCP overlook its members who showed interest in representing the party and endorse a BMD activist as their candidate? What is disheartening is that BMD is also non-existent in this constituency which means that we have to overwork to canvass support for Ntsima. This decision by the party is likely to backfire because it has already brought division which means some will work against the party in protest,” an insider revealed.
BCP Francistown Regional Chairman Dickson Dingalo confirmed the endorsement of the BMD activist as their consensus candidate but was quick to defend the decision stating that Ntsima preferred to remain under the UDC despite the expulsion of his party. “You may recall that the verdict that expelled BMD gave the party candidate options to remain under the UDC if they so wish and Ntsima is one of those who remained. So we endorsed him because he has been working with the BCP and attending all its activities,” Dingalo said in an interview.
Regarding the Youth League’s proposal Dingalo stated that though they endorsed Ntsima but the party leadership will take a final decision.
While Youth League Secretary General Dimpho Mashaba could not be reached for comment as his phone rang unanswered, on other hand Tawele dismissed reports that suggested that Ntsima has been recommended to be a candidate, questioning the motive behind the Regional committee. “I do not think these reports are true because just yesterday (Sunday) I met the Regional Chairman Dingalo together with Ntsima distributing flyers around the constituency and asked why they did that while the process to choose the candidate is still to be finalized. Dingalo told me that the decision will be made this week and that is when I told them to stop what they were doing as they will confuse the electorates,” Tawele said.