- Join BPF or forget about my support, says Khama
- BPF makes a resolution not to support independents
- BPF, UDC alliance negotiations to start soon
The Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) and its spiritual leader, Ian Khama have given independent candidates and BPF sympathisers still within the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) a choice to either join the BPF now or forget about his support ahead of the upcoming general elections.
The resolution by the BPF is targeted at BPF allies who are still hesitant to join the new party but looking for its support on grounds that BPF’s enemy is also their enemy.
Recently, some distrugntled politicians such as Prince Maele, Ramadeluka Seretse and Guma Moyo have been linked to the newly formed BPF but none has joined it. The Moitoi family has already disowned BPF choosing to remain at their respective parties. Khama is said to be worried that people want to use him to win but are hesitant to join him. The independent candidates were given up to July 31st to have joined the BPF.
BPF interim president Biggie Butale confirmed that indeed such a resolution was taken. Butale denied that they were targeting some people and pressurising them to join.
“We have resolved not to support independents. We have given all those who are still undecided up to the 31st July 2019,” he said.
There are some BDP members who are said to be sympathizers of both Khama and the BPF. Khama has himself already indicated that he would assist some independent candidates and some from the BDP in their 2019 elections campaign. However this publication understands that some of these politicians linked to the BPF are still playing hard to get.
BPF insiders said the party wants to work with people they can trust, and the only way to tell is only if they are full BPF members.
“But it does not mean that those who submit their names just after the deadline will be declined, we just do not want a scenario whereby people will submit their names around September when elections are just around the corner,” said Butale in an interview.
Meanwhile BPF and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) will soon kickstart strategic alliance negotiations according to Butale. Khama even pledged to support other opposition candidates to prop them up and increase their electoral chances against the BDP.
The BPF launch at Kanye this weekend attracted other notable figures of the opposition amongst others vice presidents of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana National Front (BNF) in Kesetegile Gobotswamang and Prince Dibeela. The party is also expected to hold its elective congress in August in Palapye.