FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has decided against going for the party primaries and instead settled for Zibanani Mbalambi as its candidate for the looming Kalamati by-election through compromise.
Mbalambi will take on veteran politician Madumela Matebu of the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP).
The BPP will challenge for the elections under the Umbrella for Democratic (UDC) ticket as a result of a coalition it enjoys with the Botswana National Front (BNF) and the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).
Matebu, who served as Kalakamati councillor for two terms in a row before losing the 2014 general elections, was also chosen through compromise some weeks back.
The BDP executive team, among them the secretary general Botsalo Ntuane, visited the Kalamati ward two weeks ago where they encouraged members to settle for a compromise candidate.
The BDP leadership maintained that settling for a compromise candidate will help the party prepare adequately for the upcoming by-election.
Five BDP diehards were said to have been keen to participate in the party primaries. However, four ofthem, Jones Dubani, Shandukani Oitsile, Herbet Mathumo and Lempaletse Mbayi pulled out, leaving Mbalambi to contest the impending by-election.
BDP leaders in the ward and the prospective candidates were locked in a series of meetings since last week with the hope of settling for a compromise candidate until a final decision was reached late this Wednesday.
Although little is known about the 59-year old Mbalambi, insiders told Mmegi that many years ago, he contested the BDP primaries in Woodhall ward in Lobatse and lost.
Ntuane was elusive when reached for comment yesterday.
“We are still working on the process of securing a consensus candidate. The process is ongoing and we will make an announcement when it is all completed,” said Ntuane, who added that an official announcement should be expected before Sunday.
The BDP also settled for compromise candidates in Sekoma and Kelemogile wards. The two previous by-elections were held in March and May this year.
The party however, attempted but failed to do the same at the Phillip Matante East by-election held a few months ago.
The UDC partners have been on the campaign trail in Kalakamati for more than a week while the BDP is expected to finalise its campaign strategy this week before hitting the ground running.
The Kalakamati ward fell vacant following the death of the area councillor, Israel Samu of the ruling party last month.