Is Keorapetse losing Ground in Phikwe-West?

  • Reuben Kaizer likely to challenge Keorapetse in BCP primaries
  • Keorapetse accused of being a Boko loyalist
  • Analyst see internecine divisions splitting the BCP vote


The Member of Parliament (MP) for Selebi-Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse, is believed to be slowly losing his grip on his constituency as the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) prepares to hold its primary elections, The Botswana Gazette has established.

Sources say successful youth businessman, Reuben Kaizer, has emerged as a leading challenger of the veteran MP in the primaries. Dates for the primaries are yet to be announced but Kaizer is said to be making inroads in the constituency that Keorapetse has won in successive general elections since 2014.

Even so, Kaizer says he is yet to make up his mind about challenging Keorapetse but has confirmed that he has been approached by a number of people in the constituency to do so. Speaking in an interview this week, he denied reports that BCP president Dumelang Saleshando is among people who have guaranteed him their support, should he decide to challenge Keorapetse.

Keorapetse is said to be one of MPs of the BCP who have “seriously” fallen out with the leadership of the party. Keorapetse, alongside Obonetse Ramogapi, Kenny Kapinga, Dr. Never Tshabang and David Tshere, are accused of being partial to Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) president Duma Boko.

Reports suggest that these MPs may face the possibility of expulsion from the BCP, not least because they are opposed to the BCP leaving the UDC.

Keorapetse did not answer his phone when sought for a comment on Tuesday afternoon.
Political scientist Leonard Sesa of the University of Botswana says that the internecine divisions of the BCP in Selebi-Phikwe West could lead to the party losing the constituency in the 2024 general elections. “The battle is a lot more serious because both Keorapetse and Kaizer were born and bred in Selebi-Phikwe and neither of the two is an outsider,” Sesa said.

“If Keorapetse leaves the BCP, the party has to provide a good explanation. Some voters will most definitely leave with him, and that is likely to split BCP votes. It is a fact that Selebi-Phikwe is a BCP stronghold, but a split like that could present an opportunity for the Botswana Democratic Party.”