Jostling for Botsalano ward

SHARE   |   Monday, 26 February 2018   |   By Shingirai Madondo

Lobbying for the candidature of Botsalano ward in the Francistown West constituency amongst members of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is in full swing. This publication has been reliably informed that two of the six candidates who showed interest to wrestle power from the incumbent, Zibanani Benfield have started campaigning in the ward – a move that has irked the sitting councilor. Benfield has confirmed jostling for the ward candidacy ahead of the ruling party’s primary elections scheduled for August later this year has already taken off. Asked if the development has irked her, Benfield responded: “Obviously it is a frustrating development bearing in mind that campaign is not yet open. But I am going to do the right thing by channeling my grievances through the right channel.” Benfield could not be drawn into discussing why she is of the belief that some of his competitors are already on the ground campaigning, arguing that she chooses to do things in accordance with the party rules and regulations. Benfield said she has already written a letter of complaint to the Francistown BDP regional committee headed by Baemedi Medupi where she outlined all the flaws that the aspiring candidates are making. According to the letter leaked to this publication dated February 15, 2018, Benfield expressed her grievances in the local vernacular, Setswana, complaining about the deliberate breaking of rules and regulations in the ward. “Ke loitsese fa dilo di sa dirwe sentle mo kgaolong (Botsalano ward) e bile go sena tlotlo,” reads part of the letter addressed Francistown BDP regional committee and copied to Bakang Mooketsi, Nthinthi Bakaile and Raoboy Mpuang.

Mooketsi, who dumped the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) some few months ago and has already showed interest of partaking in the forthcoming BDP primaries, has been accused of campaigning well before time. “I am writing this communique to infirm you (the Region) that people have started preparing themselves for Bulela Ditswe in my area (Botsalano ward) and they do not have the courtesy of informing me as an incumbent councilor,” complained Benfield. Benfield charged that house-to-house campaigns are ongoing and gathering of people such as the business workshop which was recently hosted at Aerodrome Primary School organised by Mooketsi and Mpuang. Impeccable sources have hinted that Mpuang has thrown his hat in the ring and has vowed to beat Francistown West MP Ignatius Moswaane hands down. It is said Mpuang is enjoying support from all sitting councilors and former BCP members in the area. As if that was not irking enough, Benfield added: “And there is the first Botsalano Cup tournament to be hosted on April 30, 2018 which is organised by Nthinthi Bakaile and I am not informed about this.” Mpuang, Mooketsi and Bakaile refused to be drawn into discussing the matter while Medupi confirmed receiving the letter of complaint. Medupi said an investigation is being instituted and the outcome will be made public.