- Moswaane’s declaration ends speculation he might run
- Tells critics new broom sweeps clean
The declaration by the MP for Francistown West, Ignatius Moswaane, that he will run for the presidency of the Botswana People’s Party (BPP) has increased the number of prospective candidates lining up for the position to five, The Botswana Gazette has established.
Since early this year, speculation has been rife that Moswaane had ambitions to lead Botswana’s oldest opposition party. However, this week the maverick politician ended the speculation when he officially declared his intention to join the race for the presidency of the BPP.
He told this publication that after weighing prospects for several months, he has decided to run for the BPP presidency. “I have officially informed the current president of the party, Motlatsi Molapise, about my intention to run for the position that is due to become vacant following his recent announcement to retire from active politics,” Mosaane said.
“My candidature will not have any lobby list because my intention is to work with other party members that I have found there. There is a notion that I should not run because I do not understand BPP culture. What my critics should know is that a new broom sweeps better.”
Moswaane’s declaration means that he will battle it out against four other aspirants for the presidency of the BPP. Some of the names that have been mentioned include that of former councillor Cornelius Gopolang who declared his interest soon after Molapise announced his retirement from active politics.
The others are current Publicity Secretary of the party, Kgafela Mokoka, UB lecturer Phillip Bulawa and Tshepho Makhani. The Acting Deputy Secretary General of the BPP, James Kaisara, has confirmed all the names except that of Gopolang.
“I can confirm that Mokoka, Makhani, Bulawa and Moswaane have expressed their intentions to replace the outgoing Molapise at the elective congress that is yet to be scheduled but I know nothing about Gopolang in that regard,” Kaisara told The Gazette. “We are hopeful that once the situation of COVID-19 stabilises, a writ and date will be issued.”
Kaisara added that although it is democratic to have several candidates for the same position, it can also result in unwanted tension and factional wars within a party. “But if the candidates do it with good intentions, it can only benefit the party because they will be expected to traverse the length and breadth of the country reviving structures.”
Molapise has never been challenged since he took over the presidency of the party more than 10 years ago. He once retired but was recalled by acclamation after no one showed interest in leading the party.