Opposition parties in Francistown are still running helter skelter to find a candidate for the looming parliamentary by - election in Francistown West.
Botswana Congress Party [BCP] which was second after the BDP in the 2009 general election is yet to hold its primary election. BCP has three candidates, councillor for Itekeng ward Professor Tlou, Dr Habaudi Hubona and Baatlhodi Monyatsi who works for Standard Bank Botswana. The party was supposed to hold their primary election over the weekend but has postponed them to next weekend. Delay in choosing the candidate is not sitting well with constituents as they feel they will be lagging behind in campaigning.
The tricky part for BCP is that all the three candidates are outsiders in the constituency. Tlou is a councillor in Francistown East while Hubona was a party’s parliamentary candidate in Tonota North. They are going to face a candidate who is entrenched in the politics of the area which is predominantly made of medium and low income classes. BCP Director of Elections Steven Makhura said that they had to postpone the primary election as they encountered some technical problems during the course of the week.
Political parties will do anything in their power to market their candidate to the public, but Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) who will be representing the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in the by- election are treating theirs like a royal bride in medieval times. Efforts to know their candidate hit a snag as he/she has been kept a secret with party leadership only saying, “wait for Friday we will reveal him.’’ Party president Motlatsi Molapise this week reiterated his earlier statetment that their candidate is still in Gaborone and will be revealed on Friday.
In the 2009 election BPP candidate who has since defected to BDP Whyte Marobela garnered 1,059 while Botswana National Front [BNF] candidate Olefile Moumakwa was voted by 334 people. Combination of the two votes fell short of even coming close to that of BCP candidate the late Matlhomola Modise who got 2,779.
Defections of BMD councillors
The defections of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) councillors to the BDP (two of them coming from Francistown West) is expected to give them the necessary political boost ahead of the bye- election. Deputy Mayor Joyce Ndove, Monarch West councillor Raoboy Mpuang who was also the regional secretary for Francistown region and Ipopeng ward councillor Steven Michael and BCP councillor for Government camp Albert Mosojane will be welcomed when the party launches their parliamentary candidate.