FRANCISTOWN: In a move that will come as a surprise to many, former Botswana Congress Party (BCP) activist, Tebogo Duna has thrown his name in the ring to contest the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primaries in Francistown East.
The winner of the much-anticipated primaries will gain candidacy for the 2019 general elections.
Should he be given the go-ahead by the party to contest the August primaries, Duna will come up against two seasoned politicians in area MP, Buti Billy and former city mayor now nominated councillor James Kgalajwe.
For some time, it was widely thought that Kgalajwe and Billy were the only protagonists who would be at each others’ throats in a battle anticipated to be close at the primaries.
This was because Duna has often been missing in the political scene in recent months while both Kgalajwe and Billy have been campaigning aggressively through various platforms at their disposal.
Duna came to prominence in 2015 when he expressed intensions to challenge Dumelang Saleshando for the BCP presidency, but backed down after he did not receive sufficient backing from ordinary members. He later joined the ruling party in 2016.
“I took a decision that I will contest the Francistown East primaries a long time ago, but did not want to open up about the decision before launching a formal application to contest.
I believe that
Duna is likely to struggle to engineer a win against Billy and Kgalajwe, well known and resourced politicians.
In Francistown West, the BDP primaries are a very crowded affair. Six party cadres have applied to contest Bulela Ditswe, as the ruling party primaries are known as. The primaries have attracted so much attention because they feature some of the relatively experienced politicians in the constituency and by extension Francistown.
Although he has attracted so much controversy in recent months, incumbent Ignatius Moswaane is considered favourites. Tebogo Toteng is perceived to be his closest challenger.
Kago Phofuetsile, Kanana ward councillor, Cornelius Gopolang, Raoboy Mpuang, a former councillor for Monarch East, and businessman Gregory Kealotswe, have also submitted applications to contest the primaries.
Both Moswaane and Toteng are said to have made inroads in the constituency in recent months most notably through hosting social activities. The BDP deadline for primary election applications was last Friday.