The 2014 political drama that marred the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) at the Tlokweng constituency is said to be playing itself out again in the coming parliamentary by-elections slated between March and April 2017. Information gathered by this publication is that the four aspiring candidates are reluctant to reach a compromise and avoid primary elections. Last weekend the party leadership in the constituency is said to have called the candidates to try and reach a compromise but some of them expressed ignorance about the intentions of the meeting. “Most of them said that they were not aware that the meeting was meant to try and reach a compromise though it was communicated to them,” said source who attended the meeting.
This is said to have thrown the spanner in the works for the party which wants to wrestle the constituency from Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). Kenneth Masego Segokgo will be representing the UDC in the constituency. Segokgo will also enjoy the backing of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which has joined forces with UDC. UDC in 2014 won the constituency with a huge margin when the late Same Bathobakae garnered 6442 votes against Olebile Gaborone of Botswana Democratic Party’s 3 867 votes and Botswana Congress Party’s 1 195 votes. The BDP has an uphill as UDC also snatched 8 out of 9 council wards in the constituency. Aspiring BDP candidates are Akanyang Seitshiro, Phineas Molefhe, Thulaganyo Segokgo and Elijah Katse.
The party is said to be in favour of Katse who in 2009 lost to Olebile Gaborone by 27 votes but was suspended by the party in the 2014 general elections. “The party is desperate to win the constituency and know that Katse has the upper advantage and experience to bring it to them,” said a highly placed source at Tsholetsa House. Katse is said to be favoured by party chairman Mokgweetsi Masisi. Masisi is allegedly eager to win the constituency which will cement his position as party chairman. Since he became the party chairman and chief campaigner, the party has failed to wrestle constituencies and wards from the opposition except for Sekoma council ward. BDP Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane said that they have not yet identified a candidate but was quick to add that they will have concluded the issue by the end of the weekend.