Botswana Democratic Party [BDP] primary election to find a replacement for the late MP for Francistown West Tshelang Masisi tomorrow (Saturday) has pitted four candidates.
Monarch South councillor Ignatius Moswaane, former BDP women’s wing chairperson Angelina Dingalo, former Botswana People’s Party [BPP] parliamentary candidate for the area Whyte Marobela and former NACA district grant officer Kago Phofuetsile.
Moswaane is a political student of the late Masisi and the two only fell apart recently when the student informed the master that he is going to challenge him. The late Masisi even reported Moswaane to the central committee that he has started campaigning before the writ of election has been released. Among all the candidates, Moswaane has long expressed interest in contesting the parliamentary election even before the demise of Masisi. He was recently co-opted into the BDP’s political and election committee. He won the 2009 Monarch South ward as an independent candidate beating the BDP candidate whom he had lost the party’s primaries to by 617 to 390 votes. The former FCC mayor is the favourite to win on Saturday. His main undoing will be becoming over confident and counting his chicks before the eggs are hatched. Further, some of Masisi’s supporters might try to punish him for betraying his mentor.
Angelina Dingalo, who is still recovering from her loss in the women’s wing election held in Kang in May, is hoping the parliamentary primaries will prove to democrats that she is still a force to reckon with. A member of the Venson-Moitoi faction, she was edged out by Caroline Lesang of Moyo-Guma by 275 to 121 votes. Though she lost the chairperson, Dingalo is one of the respected members of the party in the constituency and was very instrumental during the memorial service for the late Masisi even helping some members of the constituents to attend the funeral in Moshupa. In the 2009 general election she lost to Kay Pitshane of BCP for Botsalano ward by 491 to 466 votes. Many still regard her as the real threat to Moswaane’s ambitions of going to parliament.
A political cat with many political lives, prior to joining BDP, Marobela was the president of Botswana Peoples Party before he was expelled in 2010 for allegedly entering into cooperation talks with BDP without the party’s authorisation. Marobela joined BPP after he defected from Botswana Congress Party which barred him from contesting the 2009 election, as the constituency was given to their alliance partner BAM. He represented BPP in 2009 and garnered 1,059 votes. Though he is new in the BDP, the former BPP president has acquainted himself well among the democrats in the constituency and might pull a surprise.
The 37 year-old community development officer personifies the saying that dynamites come in small packages. He could surprise his well-known political opponents on Saturday. A former employee of National AIDS Coordinating Agency as district grant officer in Francistown, Phufoetsile will rely on his association with communities which he interacted with on his work routine. The constituency is made up of low income locations of Monarch, Kgapamadi, Blue Town and Maipafela which Phufoetsile has worked with in combating the scourge of HIV/AIDS. The Makaleng born BDP candidate’s undoing is that he is not well known among the democrats but should he play his cards well he might pull the rug under the feet of the well-known political veterans. BDP regional officer for Francistown Gotholwang Mokgosane said that preparations are at an advanced stage and 17, 710 democrats are expected to cast their votes in six polling stations in Francistown West.