The Botswana Peoples’ Party (BPP) has formally raised objections about the number of constituencies allocated to it during the just-ended opposition cooperation talks involving the four parties in the opposition coalition - Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
The party has been given four constituencies, while the BNF, BCP and BMD have got 22, 17 and 14 constituencies each in that order. In a letter written January 28th and signed by party secretary general, Otlaadisa Otlaadisa and addressed to the UDC secretary general, Ndaba Gaolathe, the party indicates that, it discussed the UDC-BCP cooperation talks and resolved that it was underrepresented regarding the number of constituencies allocated to it.
“It is therefore on that breath that the committee has resolved to make a fresh request and or submissions as we hereby do, through you on our preferred additional constituencies,” said the letter. Specifically, the party wants to be given Gaborone South which has been a BNF stronghold for many years until 2014 when the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) won it. Said the BPP, “The rationale behind this request or submission is that our vice president, a capable man, is based in Gaborone. It is therefore appropriate in our view that as a senior member of both the Botswana Peoples’ Party and the UDC he has a constituency in Gaborone to contest.”
The BPP explained that, should the BPP not be allocated a constituency in Gaborone or at least one major city, it will face certain death because, “…cities play a crucial role on the development of a political space.” Mbaakanyi Lenyatso is the BPP vice president and stays in Gaborone. The party would like Francistown West to be given to it, so that, its president, Motlatsi Molapisi, who resides in Francistown, may have a constituency to contest in the second city. The constituency has been allocated to the BCP.
The BPP also wants Nata-Gweta, Mmadinare and Shashe West, all of which have been given to the BCP, to be allocated to it. As a bare minimum the BPP wants to be allocated eight constituencies. Efforts to ask for confirmation of receipt of the BPP letter from Gaolatle could not bear fruit as his cell phone rang unanswered.