FRANCISTOWN: Botswana People’s Party (BPP) has accused the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) of bullying.
This follows the decision of the BCP to hold primary elections in various council wards in Francistown West. The primaries were held over the weekend.
Both parties are part of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
The BPP will contest the Francistown West parliamentary seat. The Botswana Movement Democracy (BMD), who are also in the UDC, gave them the constituency.
The BCP gave the BMD Francistown West in exchange for Maun West where they will field their president Dumelang Saleshando.
Additionally, the BPP and BMD claim that the former is the rightful party to contest the ward at the 2019 general election by virtue of being the rightful contestant.
On the other hand the BCP does not believe that the BPP has the capacity to win the ward and parliamentary elections in Francistown West. The BCP claims the BPP wants to capitilise on its popularity to win the ward elections.
“We wrote to them (BCP) reminding them that we are the rightful owners of the wards and demanding that we open a discussion on the matter (dispute on ward allocation). We do not know why they have proceeded to hold the primaries without responding
He added: “What they are doing to us is an act of political bullying. If at all they are committed to the UDC they could not be doing what they are doing now. They must be seen to be cooperating if they are committed to the UDC. They should not be seen to be bulldozing other parties”.
Galetshabiwe said that the BPP would not hesitate to return the constituency to the BMD if issues surrounding the allocation of wards are not resolved.
Salesahando recently said that the BCP will not make a demand for any ward where it performed dismally in the last general elections and likewise will not be ceding any ward where it outperformed the combined UDC. He specifically stated that he was speaking in relation to wards in Francistown West.
"This cooperation is not about the weak looking for an opportunity to get on the back of the strong and declaring themselves a newborn giant. It is about the best partner in the grouping using their strength to make sure that UDC wins," he said.