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  • Seven candidates refused to reach a compromise for Regional Chairmanship position
  • Insisted on elections
  • Tsogwane fears that many candidates might destabilize the party

SESUPO RANTSIMAKO

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Vice President Slumber Tsogwane’s efforts to convince the volatile Francistown region to reach a compromise for the hotly contested Chairmanship position have failed, after they insisted on elections.

In order to neutralize the highly volatile campaign for the hotly contested Chairmanship Tsogwane, over the weekend, held a meeting in order to persuade democrats to reach a compromise in order to avoid the possibility of destabilization and division within the party as it prepares for the much anticipated first of its kind elective congress. According to insiders who were part of the meeting at which Tsogwane tried his best in persuading the seven candidates to reach a compromise,they all refused and insisted on going for elections. The seven candidates include among others Francistown Mayor Sylvia Muzila, nominated Councillor Botho Ntirang, the incumbent Francistown Region Chairman Baemedi Medupi. Also former Francistown Region Chairman Ford Moiteela is in the race as well as Setshege Tapela and Motshegetsi Maroba.

Tsogwane, according to insiders, is worried that the campaign for the Regional Chairmanship position is highly likely to be a factor in the coming BDP elective congress. He fears that the regional campaign has already ignited the warring factions that are aligned to the presidential candidates President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his rival Pelonomi Venson Moitoi.

Tsogwane’s efforts to call for a compromise came after some of the candidates were caught using money to lure voters. A development the Vice President believes destabilizes the party. “Tsogwane tried to call for a compromise but no one was willing to withdraw as they believe that the democrats have to choose their preferred candidates through elections. Despite his efforts he ended up giving up, as all the candidates rejected his proposal. But in conceding Tsogwane pleaded with the candidates to stop using money in their campaigns as this deters democracy from taking its course,” insiders revealed following the meeting.
An accusing finger has been pointed to one of the Chairmanship candidates Moiteela who is believed to be close to Member of Parliament for Tati-East Guma Moyo. Both have publicly declared their support for Moitoi in the coming Presidential race. The insiders claimed that Moiteela has been caught several times enticing the electorates with money. Moiteela has dismissed the allegations when reached for comment and claimed that maybe people are making fun of him. “We have some people in the region who confessed receiving money from Moiteela. They claimed that Moiteela gave them money in exchange for votes,” an insider revealed.

The meeting has been dismissed by some candidates as a factional meeting meant to endorse Masisi’s candidacy. Those who claimed ignorance of the meeting have accused the party of sabotaging their candidacy and questioned why they were not invited. Some of the candidates who talked to The Botswana Gazette claimed that they only learnt about the meeting through the grapevine and explained that they failed to attend only because they were not invited. “I think this meeting was not meant for all the candidates but for certain Chairmanship candidates who may be are close to Masisi’s faction. My conviction is that those who sympathize with Moitoi are the ones who were not invited,” one candidate, who was not invited to the meetin said in an interview.

Reached for comment Francistown Regional Chairman Baemedi Medupi claimed to know nothing about the meeting insisting that he only attended one meeting where Tsogwane was canvassing support for Masisi. “I do not know anything about the said meeting and I was never invited if indeed it is true,” Medupi said in response to questions by The Botswana Gazette.

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