- Saleshando is unchallenged for presidency
- Lucas and Bathusi vie for VP post
- Incumbent VP Gobotswang not in the running
- Saleshando accused of dividing the party
Strong factions have begun to emerge within the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) as it nears its elective congress that is set for winter this year, The Botswana Gazette has established. Positions that are up for contest are that of party president, vice president, chairman, treasurer, secretary general, deputy secretary general and information and publicity secretary.
The incumbent vice president, Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang, has told this publication that the BCP is exploring the best ways of conducting its congress in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The BCP elective conference is in July 2021. We are exploring virtual options given the state of the corona pandemic,” Gobotswanag said in an interview.
He added that it is significant that the BCP constitution provides for a 30% quota for women on the party’s central committee. Information reaching this publication is that the final lobby lists is being finalised. It has so far emerged that incumbent president Dumelang Saleshando will go unchallenged for the same position at the congress that is set for July.
However, another lobby list is reportedly being circulated alongside the official one. It is allegedly led by aspiring vice president Daisy Bathusi whose motto is “Bathusi Ba Ga Dumelang” and is reported to enjoy Saleshando’s backing. The competing lobby list is led by the MP for Bobononong, Taolo Lucas, who also wants to become the next vice president of the BCP.
Dr Gobotswang has confirmed that he and the incumbent Chairman of the BCP, Motsei Rapelana, will not be running for any position.
The MP for Nkange, Dr Never Tshabang, is said to have shown interest in becoming the next Secretary General of the BCP, a position that long-time party activist, Moncho Kebonyethebe Moncho, has already publicly declared himself interested in. Tshabang is a member of the Lucas lobby list while Moncho is in Bathusi’s corner that is allied to Saleshando.
Former chairman of Kgatleng District Council, Stephen Makhura, has told The Botswana Gazette that he will stand for the position of party chairman. Dr Mpho Pheko is also said to be eyeing a position on the BCP Central Committee. The two names are on Bathusi’s lobby list.
Meanwhile, it is unclear whether incumbent Publicity Secretary, Dithapelo Keorapetse, will run for any position at the congress. Lucas says he will reveal his lobby list only after the campaign season has been opened.
Saleshando accused of dividing BCP
This publication is informed that incumbent president Saleshando wants all sitting MPs barred from running for Central Committee positions because he prefers them consolidating the BCP in their various constituencies. However, inside sources say this is receiving little support and is viewed as Saleshando’s means of neutralising the MPs’ influence within the party. “This is why he is backing Bathusi’s faction,” says one source.
Saleshando’s phone rang unanswered on Tuesday afternoon.