FRANCISTOWN: Disgruntled Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) supporters in Francistown South have regrouped and launched a petition against the leader of the opposition coalition, Duma Boko, over what they call nepotism.
The petition is currently circulating for signatures within the constituency after which it will be handed to UDC Vice President Dumelang Saleshando to pass on to Boko.
The disgruntled supporters are against the recent decision by Boko to replace Botswana Congress Party (BCP) council candidate for Phillip Matante West, Dingalo Dickson Ditsheko, with Botswana National Front (BNF) activist Jobe Ramagapu . The protestors argue that Boko could have left Ditsheko as the candidate because he long started campaigning eight months ago and has already made considerable progress in the ward while Ramagapu is unknown and never showed interest in running as a candidate.
“How could Boko overlook the BCP candidate over someone who does not even reside in the ward or within the constituency? This BNF candidate is a resident of Tonota but has registered to vote in Kalamare but surprisingly Boko is convinced that this kind of person can represent UDC. In his verdict Boko submitted that what influenced him to declare Ramagapu as the candidate is that he is willing to relocate from Tonota to Francistown. Also the verdict stated that Ramagapu is willing to transfer his name to Phillip Matante,” the protestors state in their petition.
The mastermind behind the petition, Lucky Mance, says Boko’s decision will cost the opposition. “It seems Boko wants to revive his party in the constituency because he knows very well that it is non-existent,” he told The Botswana Gazette in an interview this week. “The reasons advanced for bringing the BNF candidate are so lame and will not deter us from proceeding with our campaign. We have seen the so called new candidate going around trying to canvass support. Because of this development, the voters want an explanation and we told them that Ditsheko remains the Phillip Matante West candidate. Our petition is meant for Boko to reconsider his decision.”
Ditsheko himself has vowed not to make way for someone whom he says does not have the capacity to canvass for support in the ward. “All along where was BNF when the BCP actively participated in all UDC events?” he queries.
Boko and Ramagapu could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.