FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) activist and University of Botswana lecturer, Dr Phillip Bulawa has reportedly turned down a proposal to represent the Botswana People’s Party (BPP) in the Tati West constituency at the next general elections, Mmegi has learnt.
Tati West was given to the BPP to contest at the 2019 general elections after the BCP joined the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). For sometime, it has been widely thought that Richard Gudu will represent the BPP in the constituency at the next general elections.
However, relations between Gudu and some BPP leaders have soured in recent months, which is why some (BPP leaders) were reportedly hatching a plot to replace him with Bulawa, who is the former BCP shadow minister of higher education.
There were even reports that the BPP suspended Gudu in a bid to pave way for Mbaakanyi Lenyatso to contest in Tati West. Lenyatso has however settled for Francistown West.Gudu was recently reinstated to the party after he was suspended late last year for attending a meeting and press conference convened by the new UDC in Gaborone without the BPP concert. Bulawa and Gudu contested the 2014 general elections in Tati West where they lost to Biggie Butale of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party. Butale won with 4,510 votes while Gudu garnered 3,506, with independent candidate Farai Bonyongo managing only 819 votes.
BPP president, Motlatsi Molapise reportedly led a team to lure Bulawa to the BPP. Some members of the negotiating team were said to be from within Tati West. Bulawa reportedly made it clear that he was done with contesting general elections.
According to insiders within the BPP, Bulawa was also said to have told Molapise that Gudu was his personal friend, hence he did not find it appropriate to contest
Yesterday, Bulawa confirmed that he recently met Molapise and other BPP members, but denied that the meeting was about convincing him to contest the elections in Tati West.
“They only wanted me to be play an advisory role in the constituency. The BPP also wanted me to help them during campaigns in the constituency because they believe that I can add value (in their campaigns).”
“I am not interested in contesting the general elections. My interest ended in 2014. I have since started working with some BPP members in the constituency as per their request,” said Bulawa, who lost the position of party chairperson to Motsei Rapelana at the BCP 2015 elective congress.
The educationist further said, “All I know is that one of the BPP members asked me if I can contest the elections should ordinary members make the call, but I said that I am not interested. I did not take him seriously because I thought he was saying it in passing. The issue of contesting the elections was totally not on the agenda of the meeting”.
Yesterday, Molapise laughed off reports that BPP made attempts to convince Bulawa to contest the elections in Tati West. He also maintained that he has not met Bulawa in recent times.
“I have also heard rumours that some BPP members recently approached Bulawa with a view of convincing him to contest in Tati West but that is not true,” said the BPP leader.