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Re-allocation of Francistown South leaves BMD candidate in limbo

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  • constituency re-allocated to BCP
  • BCP activist wants to represent the constituency
  • BCP leadership calls for a consensus candidate
  • Consensus candidate process to include BMD candidate

SESUPO RANTSIMAKO

FRANCISTOWN: The recent decision by the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to re-distribute the expelled Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) constituencies has left Francistown South candidate Tiroyaone Ntsima’s candidacy in limbo, due to declaration by Botswana Congress Party (BCP) to represent the constituency.

Last year Ntsima was chosen as UDC Francistown South candidate under BMD. However his candidacy was left in limbo following the expulsion of BMD from the united opposition due to disputes arising from the conduct of the party president, Advocate Sidney Pilane.

Though expelled with BMD, Ntsima remained campaigning under the UDC ticket despite some of the contracting opposition partners questioning his candidacy. Ntsima was adamant that the constituents will not be bothered by fact that he is from a party that has been expelled from UDC.

Since the expulsion of the BMD Francistown South constituency has become a source of contention between the Umbrella contracting parties. The BCP has requested that the UDC place it under a BCP ticket given that it is the only visible contracting partner in the constituency. Francistown West BCP members contend that the constituency should not be represented by BMD, as it is non-existent following the formation of Alliance for Progressives (AP).

The recent re-allocation of Francistown South to BCP has left Ntsima’s candidacy in limbo due to David Tawele’s aspirations to represent the UDC in the area. The Former BCP Councilor’s public declaration to represent the constituency has left Ntsima in dilemma given that his candidacy was automatically terminated by the allocation of the constituency to BCP. While some of Ntsima’s sympathizers are calling him to join BCP in order to qualify for the candidacy some argue that he could not automatically be declared the candidate given that he will be new to the party.

While Ntsima could not be reached for comment Tawele confirmed that he has declared his interest in representing the party as a parliamentary candidate for the 2019 elections. “I can confirm that I have forwarded my name to be considered for parliamentary candidate. So I will be waiting for the party to make a decision,” Tawele said in an interview.

Reached for comment BCP Regional Chairman Dickson Dingalo stated that following the re-distribution of the constituency the party leadership proposed for a consensus candidate which the constituency is currently engaged in implementing. “We are currently working on a process to come up with a consensus candidate and we are hopeful by end of this week we will be done. We have some names that are before us to look at,” Dingalo revealed in an interview.

Quizzed over Ntsima’s future Dingalo pointed out that the process of coming up with a consensus candidate is inclusive of his name. “It has to be noted that when BMD was expelled its candidates were given an option to remain under UDC ticket so that is why the process of coming up with a consensus candidate includes Ntsima. That is why we included him in the process, we also realized that the constituents have been tolerant to his candidacy,” Dingalo added.

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