Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidates for the Francistown South constituency have been strongly warned against resorting to dirty tricks, character assassination and mudslinging when competing in the party’s primary elections. The party has set October 21 as the polling date for its primary elections in all the constituencies currently in the hands of the opposition. Francistown South is one of the 17 constituencies in the hands of the opposition. Announcing the 21 aspiring councilors and three parliamentary candidates over the weekend, the Defense, Justice and Security Minister Shaw Kgathi urged aspirants to be united. “Avoid dirty tricks, character assassination and mudslinging before, during and after the campaigns for the primary elections,” warned Kgathi. Former Francistown South MP Khumongwana Taylor Maoto is taking on Lamodimo Dikomang and Modiri Jojo Lucas for the parliamentary seat. Only one aspiring council candidate in Ojahile Lejowa was vetted out while a total of 21 candidates have been given a green light. Ipopeng ward has the highest number of aspiring candidates of five. “Do not do anything that is outside the code of conduct as inscribed in the ruling party’s constitution. Avoid tarnishing the names of your opponents,” said Kgathi at the party’s regional office in Francistown.
Kgathi warned that those found on the wrong side of the law will be punished. He said candidates who will contravene the code of conduct might be disqualified.“You need to have a good relationship with your opponents because at the end of the day the same fellow democrat will be needed to fight in your corner,” he said, warning candidates to always put the party’s interests ahead of theirs. “We need emerge from the primary elections as united as ever. It is not good for us to anger each other during primary elections. We should be mindful of the fact that there is still a mountain to climb during the general elections,” he said. BDP Francistown regional chairperson Baemedi Medupi said the aspirants should do everything within their power to encourage residents in their various wards to register as voters.