- Rubbishes suggestions that they are incapacitated
- Blames BCP for “witch hunt”
FRANCISTOWN: With less than five months before the 2019 general elections Umbrella for Democratic Party (UDC) contracting partner Botswana People’s Party (BPP) is still struggling to field parliamentary candidates in constituencies allocated to them, raising doubts over its general membership and capacity.
Under the UDC working agreement, BPP has been allocated five constituencies making it the contracting partner with the least number of constituencies. Among the constituencies allocated to one of Botswana’s oldest opposition political party are Francistown west, Tati-East and West. Additionally, BPP has been given Serowe North and Boteti East constituencies.
However with only four months before the general elections, out of the five constituencies BPP is yet to identify parliamentary candidates for both Serowe North and Boteti East constituencies, a development that is blamed on the party’s lack of membership in both two regions.
Also though they already have a candidate even in Tati-East constituency, the party struggled for some time until Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) defector come to their rescue. Mathodi Modisapodi was enticed with the parliamentary candidacy to defect from the ruling BDP. Upon her resignation from BDP she was immediately announced as the BPP parliamentary candidate.
While the failure by the party to identify credible candidates has been consistently attributed to its incapacity, its leadership has rubbished these claims, accusing other contracting partners of eyeing their constituencies. In both constituencies, the BPP is embroiled in a bitter fight with UDC partners, specifically the BCP which is pledging to assist in identifying a candidate from their respective general membership.
With regards to Boteti East constituency the BPP is reportedly failing to find a candidate due to its non-existence in the region. In Serowe North the BPP is reportedly non-existent and the BCP is the only visible UDC partner.
“This insinuation that the BPP does not have the capacity to field candidates is a lie that is peddled by the BCP and it is doing all this because it is greedy. It is not disputable that we delayed fielding candidates but this has to be blamed to BCP because it has been harassing our members who show interest in representing us. BCP is the only difficult party within this coalition. It is only self-serving,” blasted BPP Spokesperson Venta Galetshabiwe.
Both BCP Secretary General Phillip Monowe and Vice President Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang referred all enquiries to party President Dumelang Saleshando who also could not comment as he said he was out of the country.