Finance Minister, Kenneth Matambo’s name has resurfaced among politicians eyeing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary election in Francistown West next month, the Northern Extra has been reliably informed.
The ruling BDP has imposed fresh primary election in the constituency after the party failed to constest the just ended by-election. Its candidate and former Monarch South councillor, Ignatius Moswaane, who had previously won primary election was barred by Independent Electoral Commission from constesting. The opposition Botswana Congress Party’s Dr. Habaudi Hubona won the by-election and becomes the country’s first female opposition MP.
Matambo could not discuss whether he would contest but said he has not been approached to contest the Francistown West primary election. “If there was any area in Botswana where I would contest for election it would be Tonota,’’ he said.
However, Northern Extra has it on good authority that during the festive season, Matambo met some members of the constituency to inform them of his availability should the party call fresh primary election. The decision to call for fresh election in the constituency follows a high powered BDP delegation led by Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who is also BDP chairman and party secretary general Mpho Balopi. The party leadership met with party rank and file and informed them about the committee’s resolution to call for fresh primary election. The resolution was dismissed by those in support of Moswaane without much success.
Those closer to BDP leadership told Northenr Extra that the central committee is not happy with the way Moswaane has been conducting himself during the protest to be allowed to constest by-election and stand as BDP candidate for the general election. Moswaane also sent a delegation of pastors to president Ian Khama requesting him to make a new writ of election for Francistown West. During the meeting Kedikilwe expressed his displeasure about Moswaane’s tantrums suggesting that his conduct was sending a wrong “message to the people.’’
On Sunday BDP electoral board chairman Parks Tafa appeared ready to tell Moswaane and Francistown West members that their decision was final. Some suspect that the party might vet him out thus paving way for Matambo. However, Balopi rubbished such claims saying they don’t have intentions of vetting out Moswaane. It was during that meeting that Kedikilwe nearly let the cat out when he said that, “with re-runs we would not be able to vet out some candidates.’’
BDP insiders say the party is aware of Moswaane’s popularity in the constituency, especially in Monarch and has roped in some influencial politicians with a view to “neutralise” gallant Moswaane. Sources say the decision by Monarch East councillor Raoboy Mpuang to contest the parliamentary election is just part of the grand plan. Mpuang, who rejoined BDP from its splinter group – Botswana Movement for Democracy is highly respected in Monarch East.
Reached for comment, Moswaane explained that he is aware of BDP shenanigans, but declined to elaborate. Asked if he will submit his name for fresh election, he said to his knowledge he is still a BDP parliamentary candidate for October 2014. “I have confidence in my party president that he is going to overrule the decision to call fresh primary election,’’ Moswaane said. Francistown West became vacant following the death of Tshelang Masisi.