The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is reportedly gaining more ground in its traditional stronghold – Francistown West constituency – with the hope of flushing out the opposition from the area. The party has embarked on an exercise aimed at crumbling Botswana Congress Party (BCP) in the constituency well ahead of the 2019 general elections. According to impeccable sources, the BDP is leaving no stone unturned in the constituency and the exercise has so far claimed some influential BCP members. The BDP recently managed to lure Isaac Keleagetse who represented BCP in the 2014 general election in the Monarch North ward. Keleagetse marginally lost to the incumbent councilor for Monarch North, Godfrey Kaelo. Keleagetse decided to join the BDP after failing to beat the ruling party on three consecutive occasions. BDP Francistown regional chairperson Baemedi Medupi confirmed that former BCP council candidate for Monarch North joined the ruling party. According to Medupi, the development came as a result of the ongoing recruitment exercise targeting influential opposition members. “He (Keleagetse) gave us a run for our money in the past elections. He is a hardworking person. It is our hope and conviction that the work ethic he showcased while still with the opposition will define him at BDP,” he said.
For his part, Keleagetse said he does not subscribe to blowing his own or somebody’s trumpet but believes in performing to his best. He said he will do everything within his power to ensure that “Monarch North and the better Francistown becomes a no go area for the opposition.” BCP Francistown regional chairperson Ditsheko Dingalo admitted that the opposition has lost another gallant fighter and foot soldier in a space of less than six months joining the same political party. BCP lost Barulaganye Mooketsi who represented us at Botsalano ward in the last elections and now it is Keleagetse. The two were influential members of the opposition movement,” said Dingalo. However, he was quick to point out that the BCP cannot cry over spilt milk. Dingalo said BCP is not leader driven and losing leaders will make the organisation stronger than ever. “We once lost the former president and Secretary General mme ratswelela (but continued). There was a time when we lost a former parliamentary candidate (Whyte Marobela). Our greatest concern is not losing leaders but general membership,” he said.
Dingalo added: “Even if Dumelang (the current BCP president) is to go tomorrow, the BCP will become stronger than ever.”