His supporters accuse Presiding Officer of targeting Kgathi for failure
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) stalwart Shaw Kgathi, who is a candidate to become the next Secretary General of the party, has rejected the results of elections during a congress of the Bobonong Branch and wants a re-election.
Kgathi, who is a former cabinet minister, has informed Tsholetsa House in Gaborone of this decision that he took with his supporters.
In an interview with The Gazette, Kgathi raised concerns about Baemedi Medupi being Presiding Officer for the congress elections. “The very same Medupi who recently chased me out of the party meeting in Francistown was part of what happened at the congress,” he said tersely. “For further enquiries, talk to the constituency authorities.”
Confirming this, the Branch Secretary of Bobonong Constituency, Naledi Molapisane, said that they have lodged a complaint with party headquarters about “irregularities” during the branch last weekend.
According to Molapisane, their key complaint is that Baemedi Medupi failed to follow the laid down election procedures as the presiding officer because his agenda was to de-campaign Kgathi. “We anticipated irregularities when we learned that Medupi would be the Presiding Officer,” he said.
“He recently chased Kgathi out of a BDP meeting in Francistown. We believe that he has an agenda against Kgathi. I can therefore confirm that as constituents who feel that the procedures were violated, we wrote a letter of complaint to the party. Through this letter, we want the weekend congress results nullified and re-elections called.”
According to Molapisane, because of his alliance with the Slumber Tsogwane team, Medupi did not qualify to be the Presiding Officer. “Due to his alliance to Tsogwane’s lobby, there was no how he could be neutral because he was also working for his team,” he said.
Kgathi is running for the position of Secretary General of the BDP in the lobby group of Nonofo Molefhi, who is a candidate for the chairmanship of the party. Kgathi will face off with Kavis Kario who is in Slumber Tsogwane’s lobby group.
But Medupi has dismissed these allegations. “The unfortunate part is that people will always complain after any election,” he said. “We elected the delegates procedurally and constitutionally.”
“The people who are complaining should know that we have different election procedures in the BDP and that it does not mean that their suggested one is correct. Any procedure chosen at the congress was right and constitutional.”
Medupi also dismissed allegations that he has an agenda against Kgathi. “I have nothing against Kgathi as people think,” he said. “People keep on using the incident that happened in Francistown to accuse me of fighting him while it is not like that. I did not chase him (away), instead he was requested to recuse himself from the BDP Francistown meeting because he was not invited.”
Kgathi reportedly failed to win the support of sufficient numbers of the delegates to the Bobonong constituency branch congress.