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Moselewapula: A crowded political affair

RYDER GABATHUSE
Modenga PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
FRANCISTOWN: A record high number of politicians seeking to fill a void left by the late Lechedzani Modenga have shown interest to contest the by-election.

To be precise, about 14 politicians from both the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) have thrown their hats in the ring.

As politics is proving to be another major employer in the country and elsewhere, there is stampede at the Moselewapula ward in the Francistown-West constituency where numbers of interested politicians continues to swell.

Although there are no official statistics yet, from last week, just a week after Modenga’s burial, the figure of those who have shown interest to participate in the by-election stood at about 10 contestants for the ruling BDP only. As for the opposition BCP the figure this week reflected that it was moving slowly at about four interested politicians making the total figure to rise to 14 and expected to grow.

A majority of the interested politicians are not currently employed confirming allegations that politics has its own line of ‘jobseekers’ in the name of representing people.

Ahead of the BDP primaries to determine who is fit to contest and general eligibility, it goes without saying that theirs will be a crowded affair. One of the noted interested candidates from the BDP stable is former city deputy mayor Joyce Ndove, who resides in the vacant ward.

Equally, in the BCP, renowned politicians like Maxwell Motsu and Reuben Ketlhoilwe amongst others, are lined up to try their luck in the ward.

BDP Francistown region chairperson Baemedi

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Medupe clarified this week that there could be many interested parties from their party but unfortunately, the BDP had not asked people to express interest yet.

“After the National Council, which will be held over this weekend the party region will utilise the weekend of March 24, 2018 and go to the ward and officially announce the death of Modenga, which traditionally is known in the vernacular as tatolo,” Medupe said, emphasising the party procedure.

The region chairperson indicated that it is only after fulfilling this procedure that the party could receive letters of expression of interest from the interested parties.

Currently, the BDP region office does not have names of those who are interested in the impending by-election as the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Slumber Tsogwane normally gives the process about 90 days before calling for the by-election.

The BCP through its national organising secretary, Vain Mamela has confirmed that four of its members have shown interest in contesting the vacant ward. The quartet is Motsu, Ketlhoilwe, Gilbert Makomba ad Chimbise Chimbise. The list might swell, as more people seem interested in the ward.

“The BCP will issue a writ of primary elections after consulting the ward, possibly next week. The process of party primaries will then follow in earnest to determine who represents the party in the by-election at a date to be announced,” veteran politician Mamela said.



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