Focus shifts to BDP Electoral College

SHARE   |   Monday, 10 April 2017   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Molefhi and Masisi Molefhi and Masisi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairmanship campaign has shifted focus to the composition of delegates from different arms of the party who will make the Electoral College in Tonota, where the real political chess game is now playing out. Campaigns teams for the candidates, Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Nonofho Molefhi, are crisscrossing the country lobbying and canvassing support from the 57 constituencies that will each send 10 delegates to the congress in July. Masisi’s camp is said to have made headways and taken the lead, pinning their hopes on the delegates who constitute the highest number at 570. 


Central Committee
Most members are on Masisi's lobby list, giving him a good start. His supporters include President Ian Khama, Treasurer Satar Dada, Deputy Secretary General Shaw Kgathi, deputy Treasurer Jagdish Shah, Mpho Balopi, Mmapula Phuduhudu, Thato Kwerepe, Youth Wing Chairman Simon Mavange, Unity Dow, Botlogile Tshireletso and Goitse Phori. Molefhi, on the other hand, has Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane, Daniel Kwelagobe, Fidelis Molao, Tshekedi Khama and Dorcas Makgato. Nine members of the Central Committee are MPs and will therefore have to forfeit their vote as they cannot vote twice since the BDP has adopted one delegate one vote system. Of the nine, five are from Masisi’s team while the remaining four are in Molefhi’s team.   


MPs
When the race for the chairmanship began, Molefhi was in pole position on the number of MPs on his side but recently the complexion of the game is said to have changed after the failed cabinet coup where some cabinet ministers wanted Khama to drop Masisi as Vice President. Those who are said to have jumped ship are Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Vincent Seretse. He recently attended the Yarona Country Lodge meeting. The meeting was also attended by Eric Molale, Shaw Kgathi, Slumber Tsogwane, Kefentse Mzwinila, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Sadique Kebonang, Tshenolo Mabeo, Patrick Ralotsia. MPs, who attended the meeting, included Samson Moyo Guma, Liakat Kably, Bagalatia Aarone, Mephato Reatile, Machana Shamukuni and Ngaka Ngaka. Other cabinet ministers on Masisi's camp include Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Thapelo Olopeng, Frans Van Der Westhuizen, Assistant Minister Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Itumeleng Moipisi.


Youth and Women’s wing
Molefhi’s camp is trailing behind in both the Youth and Women’s wing as five from each wing belong to Masisi’s lobby group.


Regions
In the regions, the Re-Nonofhile camp is said to be currently on the driving seat as they have snatched most of the regions that have held their elective congresses being Francistown and Gaborone. Regions translate into 28 votes as each has been allocated two votes. There are 14 regions.

Councillors
There are more than 500 councillors, which makes them an important constituency and the pillar of the elective congress. Both candidates are jostling to have them on their side. Currently both camps are touring all the councils to lobby them and, according to inside sources, the one who promises to address their welfare issues better will come on tops. The councillors are said to be very influential on who get elected into regional committees and the selection of delegates for the congress. It is in this category that resources will be critical as it means traversing the width and breadth of the country and transporting the delegates to the congress in Tonota. I



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