Some of the disgruntled Botswana Democratic Party members who contested the 2014 general election as independent candidates are not too eager about the blanket amnesty extended to them to return home.
The BDP extended an olive branch to its Mekoko during its recent special congress in Gaborone. When contacted for comment on the logistics of returning to the party, the BDP secretary general Botsalo Ntuane would not say how many BDP members stood as independent candidates. “There were many independent candidates in the 2014 general election and we do not know how many of them were from the BDP,” he said. The party leadership is expecting the concerned people to notify the party through the local structures.
However, when contacted about whether he would return to the BDP or not, Farai Bonyongo, one of the Tati West primary election losers to Biggie Butale indicated, in an interview, that the party had not communicated with him. “If contacted, I will certainly consult with all concerned and make a decision,” said Bonyongo. For his part, Joe Linga, who also controversially lost the Nata-Gweta primary election to Polson Majaha, said: “I expect them to approach us as individuals. Only after that can one make a decision,” said Linga who however indicated that he would not contest the 2019 general election.
Moeng Pheto, the former cabinet minister who lost the primary election for Lentsweletau-Mmopane to Vincent Seretse, has made a decision. “I am not interested in the BDP. In any case, I have a new political home now. In fact, even before this resolution, a lot of influential BDP members had approached me to return to the party. I would rather go and stay at my cattle post than re-join that party,” stated Pheto who joined the Botswana Movement for Democrcy (BMD) after the general election. Pheto is a member of the BMD National Executive Committee. The fallout between the party and the disgruntled members had resulted from last year’s party primary election process, which the losers described as undemocratic.