Main opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Central ward council candidate in Francistown East constituency, Lucky Kedumetse Tlangae has thrown in the towel just a few months before the much anticipated October general elections.
In a brief interview, Tlangae confirmed that he has quit contesting for the ward. His reasons are that he did not have a cordial working relationship with UDC parliamentary candidate in Francistown East, private attorney, Morgan Moseki and his campaign manager, Kenneth Nelson. “Some within the UDC were de-campaigning me in the ward so that is why I decided to withdraw,” he averred. Despite his withdrawal, Tlangae said he remains a committed member of the BCP, insisting that contrary to allegations that he was uncooperative he submitted all the reports required by the campaign team.
Things have not been rosy for the youthful Tlangae since he raised his hand to contest for the ward which is currently under the UDC. Sources within the BCP have hinted that the party’s constituency committee has been baying for Tlangae’s blood for a very long time. Prior to his decision to quit, the constituency committee had written a letter to the party activist to show course why he cannot be recalled. A source within the lime movement told this publication that the constituency committee was not amused by Tlangae’s commitment and work ethic.
“On numerous occasions when we embark on house to house campaigns in Central ward, Tlangae fails to show up without any valid reasons. He will go to an extent of switching off his mobile phone which made it very difficult for us to work with him,” the source said, further highlighting that the constituency committee had suggested that all council candidates have to produce a list of eligible voters that they have registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in an endeavour to come up with a strategy on how to canvas for votes. He claims that on various occasions, the Tonota native failed to furnish the committee with the list of registered voters in his ward as per the agreement.
Another issue that led to Tlangae deciding to step down, according to sources is that his relationship with Moseki had already turned sour. “Moseki has always been unhappy with Tlangae’s commitment. He is of the view that among his council candidates, Tlangae was the weakest link,” another BCP operative said.
Replacing a council candidate with only two months left to the general elections might be suicidal to the alliance considering the fact that other candidates in the area have made significant strides in their campaigns. Currently the ward is under Ephraim Maiketso of the UDC who has announced that he will not be contesting the upcoming polls. The decision to replace Tlangae might give Sam Masunga of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Lillian Griesmeir of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) the ammunition to wrestle the ward from the alliance. The ward has been a stronghold for BCP as Maiketso has won two previous elections with ease. Kagiso Koontse who is the current BCP constituency Chairperson in Francistown East is tipped to replace Tlangae.
BCP Francistown regional chairman, Dingalo Ditsheko confirmed that Tlangae has withdrawn his candidature. “The constituency chairperson, Koontse has informed me that our council candidate in Central ward has indicated that he no longer wants to contest for the ward. But I am yet to receive his letter stating reasons for his decision,” Ditsheko said in response to The Patriot on Sunday enquiry.