Member of Parliament for Shoshong and aspirant for the post of Secretary General for BDP, Philip Makgalemele has rebutted allegations that he has chickened out of the race for the latter position. News has been doing rounds that the legislator is intending to back out from challenging Mpho Balopi to concentrate on his constituency, where Duke Lefhoko is allegedly giving him sleepless nights. Lefhoko is the former MP for the area and lost to Makgalemele in 2003 by 1,235 to 1,268 votes during the party primaries.
He is currently Botswana’s Ambassador to Namibia.‘’I am much in the race and busy mobilising democrats to elect me at the Maun Congress,’’ declared Makgalemele in an interview. Makgalemele who had a short stint at BDP’s offspring Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) poured scorn on those who use his time in political wilderness to de-campaign him. ‘’This is water under the bridge. I have made peace with that. I explained that to my constituents and they have forgiven and embraced me.
It is in the past and I no longer live there but in the present and is where you can judge me.’’ The former Botswana Football Association president said that he would be judged by his strength and the value that he can add to the party than by his past. During party elections office aspirants align to certain groups. However Makgalemele said that would not be so this time around. He said the BDP has done away with lobby groups as they tend to breed factions.
There have been allegations that Makgalemele is in Venson-Moitoi’s team, “I don’t belong to any group and will be comfortable to work with anyone who wins the chairperson position should I succeed in my endeavour,” he said. Some democrats in Shoshong who are sympathetic to Makgalemele are worried that he has too much on his plate, as he has to ward off a challenge from Lefhoko and wrestle for party chief scribe position. ‘’What makes them think that he is a strong challenger and will distract my campaign?” he asked. Makgalemele said that he is ready for anyone who wants to challenge him in Shoshong and his works in the constituency will exonerate him. Efforts to get comment from the current BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi did not bear fruit as his mobile phone was off air.