Last Updated
Wednesday 03 September 2014, 07:00 am.
#BulelaDitswe: Crunch time for BDP hopefuls

As the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) hold its last batch of primary elections over the weekend, it is possible that MPs and cabinet ministers involved are having sleepless nights. This is due to the fact that the first leg of the primaries showed that incumbency and cabinet positions count for little. In the primaries for constituencies in the north a few weeks ago, four cabinet ministers were defeated. That is why in the last leg, ministers like Mokgweetsi Masisi, Vincent Seretse, Dr John Seakgosing and Peter Siele may be having sleepless nights.
By Lerato Maleke Tsaone Basimanebotlhe Fri 29 Nov 2013, 17:31 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: #BulelaDitswe: Crunch time for BDP hopefuls


Both candidates in the constituency have support on the ground and competition among them is very stiff. The incumbent, Mokgweetsi Masisi will not find it easy against his challenger Bobby Tlhabiwe. Already three councillors who used to be Masisi's supporters have switched camps and now back Tlhabiwe. The minister may be done in by his public statements and the fact that he paid too much attention to his cabinet post of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration at the expense of the constituency. Moshupa residents have been complaining that Masisi is not visible in the area. Tlhabiwe is said to be working well with people in the constituency but he may have to contend with fact that Masisi is from the royal family.   

Though Assistant Minister, Patrick Masimolole once defected to the breakaway Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) it seems he did not lose much grassroots support. Hence his challenger, Autlwetse Otisitswe may find it tough in the primaries. 

Driver Motlokwa is one of the strong candidates against Health Minister, Dr John Seakgosing. Other notable challengers are Tshenolo Mabeo and Thato Tsumake but the biggest threat to the minister is Motlokwa, the chairperson of Kweneng and Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board. Seakgosing is disadvantaged by the fact that some BDP members feel that he has failed the party and government as a minister.

Competition in the constituency is tight between current MP and former minister, Moeng Pheto and Vincent Seretse. Other candidates are Sarah Molosiwa and Reuben Mokopaina.    

Here, cabinet minister, Kitso Mokaila is unopposed

Gantsi North
Cabinet minister, Johnie Swartz stand a good chance of making it back but Gregory Losibe, former media personality cannot be undermined. Losibe might be disadvantaged by the fact that he does not have enough resources.

Assistant Minister of Local and Rural Development, Olebile Gaborone is facing a tough challenge from Elijah Katse who is more entrenched in BDP. Party members seem to be comfortable with him than Gaborone who entered Parliament through the opposition Botswana National Front (BNF). The branch committee is behind Katse who Gaborone beat in the last general elections.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Peter Siele will have a difficult time in the primaries because of a serious threat posed by Dr Alfred Madigela who has campaigned in the constituency. The other contestant is Diane Gopolang.

Here Duke Masilo stands a good chance but the incumbent Mmoloki Raletobana is no push-over. The two were recently engaged in a competition donating to people in the constituency. What might disadvantage Raletobana is the fact that he once declared that he will not defend his seat. 

Molepolole South
Political veteran, Daniel 'DK' Kwelagobe will face his old nemesis councillor Shima Monageng in a bid to defend the seat he has held for ages. The former cabinet minister has never lost a BDP contest or the general election and a Monageng win will be an upset. Kwelagobe, a former long-serving BDP secretary general and lately chairman is heavily favoured to come back to Parliament again. He is one of the few who still has a lot of influence in the party. 

Molepolole North
The incumbent Gaotlhaetse 'GUS' Matlhabaphiri is tipped to win again. The Assistant Minister is influential in the party besides being a grassroots man. However, this does not rule out a surprise by the youthful nominated councillor Kabo Sebele from the royal family. But the challenger may be disadvantaged if recent claims that some of his supporters names are not on the voters' roll are true. 

Gaborone Bonnington-North
Assistant Minister, Keletso Rakhudu is unopposed

Jwaneng Mabutsane 
Mephato Reatile who defected from BNF and joined BDP is unopposed.

Ngaka Ngaka is unopposed

Mochudi East
Reverend Mpho Moruakgomo, who has been twice a nominated councillor, will do battle with one Kennedy Matlhape and Shangan Kubanji. Matlhape and Kubanji are unknown quantities, who may not stand a chance against the charismatic pastor who has been chairman of the Kgatleng District Council (KDC). Moruakgomo lost in the 2008 primaries against Isaac Davids who has since defected to BNF.

Mochudi West
Kgatleng West will witness a major battle between former High Court judge, Unity Dow, and former Botswana Football Association CEO, Tosh Kgotlele. Some Bakgatla say they do not care much what happens in the BDP camp since Dow abandoned self-exiled paramount chief, Kgafela Kgafela, in his court cases against government. The anti-BDP sentiment springs from the protracted grandstanding between the royal court and the government that resulted in Kgafela fleeing to South Africa. 

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