- BDP chairman wants constituency to endorse Lenyatso
- BDP members in F/town West divided over the issue
The defection of former Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) vice president, Mbaakanyi Lenyatso, to the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has sparked controversy among members of the party in Francistown West, The Botswana Gazette has established.
The controversy came into the open recently when the Chairman of the BDP, Slumber Tsogwane, asked influential members in the constituency to prepare to endorse Lenyatso before the 2024 general elections.
Sources say some people contended that it was inappropriate for Tsogwane to impose an aspirant for Parliament on the constituency, especially a new recruit. “Most of the constituents did not like this at all because they believe that they should be left to choose whomsoever they themselves want to represent them.”
Sources say their position is that the BDP Chairman should have considered that Lenyatso is a new recruit who should not rush to run for public office under the BDP when there are more deserving people.
This issue has the potential to cause internal divisions in the constituency and the party at large. Even so, it has not been established whether or not Lenyatso has parliamentary aspirations under the BDP. Nevertheless, those opposed to his endorsement say he is likely to have a negative impact on himself and the constituency if he does.
They believe that his relocation from Borolong Village to Gerald Estate in Francistown West is an indication that he has parliamentary aspirations for the constituency.
In an interview after resigning from the BPP last year, Lenyatso told The Botswana Gazette that he would not become a parliamentary candidate for Francistown West in the next general elections because the incumbent MP, Ignatius Moswaane, was the one who persuaded him to defect from the BPP.
While Lenyatso could not be reached for comment, Branch Chairman Sambandawe Mepedzeni says the constituency is not aware of the development. “In fact, there is no how the leadership can impose someone on the constituency for elections because there are procedures to follow,” Mepedzeni said in an interview.
“What we are aware of is that like any other democrat, Lenyatso is an ordinary BDP member who is subject to party regulations.”