- “Wants Francistown south”
- “BCP is the only visible UDC partner in the constituency”
FRANCISTOWN: Information continues to pile suggesting that the Botswana Congress Party is angling for Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) constituencies believed to be a low hanging fruit as BMD without Alliances for Progressives (AP) “masses” is “weak”.
Suspicions are that meetings sometimes called “Leadership Forum” by the BCP in Francistown are ongoing strategic considerations by the party to ask for some of the BMD constituencies of their interest, with Francistown South following another fresh rumour about Maun West where Saleshando is being urged to stand by some. Francistown South was won by Wynter Molotsi under the BMD before the party splintered out of the UDC last year.
The departure of Ndaba Gaolatlhe’s faction from BMD is said to have left a “vacuum” in some constituencies in which the BCP is considered to be strong and according to insiders, the party intends to persuade UDC to give it such constituencies as Francistown South. “Since BMD is non-existent in this constituency failure to allocate this to the visible party will be suicidal to UDC as it will be giving AP candidate a great opportunity to retain the seat come 2019. We believe that BCP is the only visible UDC conglomerates therefore should be given this constituency,” a BCP activist said.
However, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of victimization, a former BCP Francistown Region committee member said those who want the constituency to be given to BCP are making these suggestions out of an entrenched BCP antagonism against AP’s Mmolotsi. “We cannot dispute that BCP is the only visible UDC member in the constituency but we do not have credible candidates that can take Mmolotsi head on. As it stands Mmolotsi remains the favourite in the constituency and I believe that even if we can just leave him to go unchallenged, since we are all opposition we might work together in future,” said the defiant BCP activist.
Another person to dismiss the claims was BCP’s Francistown Region Chairman Dickson Dingalo. “It is not true we want the constituency nor have we discussed it. BMD is the one that can give us the constituency if it is necessary. The powers of constituency allocation are vested on UDC National Executive Committee (NEC), so there is no how we can persuade them to give us the constituency whilst it is still under BMD,” Dingalo explained.
BCP President Dumelang Saleshando recently denied any active interest or decision to stand in the BMD held Maun West constituency, saying despite being approached and encouraged to stand in the constituency, UDC had not made any decision and that no such talks had been entered into yet.
BMD’s current position is that it will not cede any of its constituency to UDC partners under any circumstance.