Some seasoned Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) officials fell by the wayside during last Saturday’s primary elections while losers to the so-called heavyweights were left crying foul. There have been widespread reports of electoral fraud in the build-up and during the primary elections held in the constituencies currently under the grip of the opposition parties across the country. Now threats of revolt against the party from the vanquished candidates who have threatened to go solo or join the opposition in order to make life very difficult for the ruling party ahead and during the 2019 general elections. There is simmering tension and mounting anger against the ruling party, with journalists inundated with calls from disgruntled party officials alleging uneven political ground throughout the process. Ballot stuffing, intra-party violence and blatant vote-buying are some of the allegations being perpetuated by the vanquished lot of BDP officials which made the political ground not to be even. Khumongwana Maoto, who participated in the Francistown South primaries, disapproved the process that saw the little known Modiri Jojo Lucas emerging the winner after garnering 906 votes. Maoto garnered 496 votes to claim second position while former Francistown deputy mayor Lamodimo Dikomang became third after accumulating 306 votes. “I have been a bonafide, disciplined and dedicated member of the BDP for the past 43 years,” said Maoto, adding that he had never seen a BDP that treat other participants with absolute bias in an election process like the current one.
Maoto added: “I am really troubled. My troubles emanate from the fact that some members of the BDP are allowed to do as they please in flouting the party rules and regulations while others are immediately punished for breaking the law.” Dikomang echoed Maoto’s sentiments, accusing the winner of contravening laid down rules and regulations governing the processes of Bulela Ditswe throughout. Although all complaints could not openly express their desire to dump the BDP, sources so close to the goings on in the ruling party have hinted that scores of frustrated democrats are on the verge of jumping ship. Contacted for comment, the BDP Francistown regional chairperson Baemedi Medupi admitted that there are some democrats who participated in the just-ended primaries who are not happy at all about the results. “Some have openly rejected the results while others have decided to write to the party raising their concerns. In democratic principles, the aggrieved parties have got two weeks to write to the party headquarters for a hearing,” said Medupi.