- BPP offers constituency
- I am not happy at BDP but I won’t represent BPP- Gabotlale
- Says he will voluntarily leave BDP
FRANCISTOWN: Efforts by the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) to recruit disgruntled Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary election loser for Boteti East, Oboetswe Gabotlale to represent it in the coming 2019 general elections has hit a snag.
BPP, one of the Opposition contracting partners under the Umbrella, has been struggling to find a candidate to represent them come 2019, amid claims that the party is no longer existent in the area. At one point the constituency was a source of division within the BPP with part of the executive committee proposing a swap deal with either Botswana National Front (BNF) or Botswana Congress Party (BCP) as they are more visible. On the other hand, others rejected the proposal insisting that it is one of its strongholds.
It appears that the BPP was pinning their hopes on disgruntled member of the BDP and primary election loser. Gabotlale lost the recent Boteti East parliamentary primary election to the incumbent Lelatisitswe Setlhomo. Though Gabotlale rejected and appealed the results citing irregularities, BDP never responded, he claims.
Gabotlale confirmed that BPP has been trying to lure him to their folds and wanted him to be their 2019 candidate, an offer he declined. “I can confirm that BPP approach me but I questioned them on whether they exist in that area, perhaps even BCP tried to lure me to their fold but I have rejected both of them,” Gabotlale told The Botswana Gazette in an interview.
Gabotlale was quick to point out that he voluntarily joined BDP and he will do so again if there is a need. He expressed his disappointment at the way BDP treated him following the recent primary elections that were marred by irregularities, blaming the system used. “I am not happy with current BDP primary elections system because it has lot of flaws which mostly leave the candidates disgruntled. This disgruntlement always affects the party in the end because the leadership never want to address the complaints raised. For how long we are going to hide that things are not well within the BDP, especially in relation to primary election system,” Gabotlale wondered.
Gabotlale lamented that though he made an appeal immediately after the election, the party structures did not even extend him the courtesy of a response to indicate that they have received his letter. “I have been so loyal to this party but I am not happy considering what transpired after the primary elections,” Gabotlale stated.
What surprises Gabotlale the most is that there were three recommendations ordered for a re-run for two wards within Boteti East constituency but curiously only one recommendation for Electoral Board Chairman Peter Siele was considered. “The Regional Committee, the Returning Officer as well as the Political Election and Education Committee (PEEC) all recommended for a re-run on only two wards that did not release results due to some irregularities. Curiously the Central Committee only considered one for Siele. This shows that some people within our party are using their positions to favor some candidates,” blasted Gabotlale.
Reached for comment BPP Spokesperson Venta Galetshabiwe refuted ever approaching Gabotlale insisting that though they have interest they have to be careful. “We should know the appropriate time to approach disgruntled person. We have to approach him when he is in the right state of mind,” Galetshabiwe said in an interview.