The presence of former Debswana Chief Executive Officer Blackie Marole at the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) BOMASE region extraordinary congress in Bobonong has raised speculation that he is seriously thinking of challenging the incumbent area MP Shaw Kgathi.
BOMASE region, which comprises Bobonong, Mmadinare and Selibe Phikwe constituencies had a meeting to replace some committee members who have resigned. Marole’s presence did not go unnoticed. In fact it caused panic among some BDP officials in the region. With the BDP currently preparing for its primary elections some suspect that Marole who hails from Bobonong might be preparing to challenge Shaw Kgathi in the primaries.
“Anything is possible nowadays and I won’t be surprised if he declares his interest in the area and challenges the incumbent,’’ said a BDP insider in Bobonong. Speculation is rife that some influential individuals in the constituency who have fallen out with Kgathi are working around the clock to convince Marole to challenge Kgathi. Only Calvin Sekwababe a BDP councillor in Bobirwa has since declared his interest to stand against Kgathi.
Kgathi did not attend the meeting, which was also graced by Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe. A source close to Marole revealed that at the moment the former Debswana boss and current Board chairman of Botswana Development Corporation has not expressed any interest in contesting the BDP primaries, but that does not mean that he will not contest.
The secretary for BOMASE Mmapula Mmido-Phuduhudu confirmed that indeed Marole attended the extraordinary meeting in his capacity as an observer. “He did not comment or vote during the meeting and there was nothing wrong in what he did,’’ she said. Phuduhudu further acknowledged that it is possible that Marole’s attendance may have caused panic in the BDP circles and amongst those who want to contest BDP primaries.
“He is a public figure and obviously his presence might have set tongues wagging, more so that we are going towards the party primary elections.’’ Asked for a comment Kgathi became agitated saying that he is not interested in knowing who is challenging him.
‘’Sometimes I wonder whether journalists apply their minds, how can you ask me if someone is challenging me, I am an incumbent and my strategy is to win and I don’t care who is challenging me. Go and ask him not me,” he said angrily. Repeated efforts by this newspaper to talk to Marole were unsuccessful.