In 2013, some members of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) quit the party after they lost in primary elections. Most were of the view that they had been cheated and some stood as independents while others joined opposition parties, Staff Writers Tsaone Basimanebotlhe & Innocent Selatlhwa write
As the ruling party’s central committee holds a crucial meeting today, to amongst other things rule on Bulela Ditswe appeals, there is a conscious move not to repeat mistakes of the past.
A host of ministers and sitting Members of Parliament are amongst those appealing their ousting. They include Nonofo Molefhi, Shaw Kgathi, Vincent Seretse, Patrick Ralotsia, Kefentse Mzwinila and Biggie Butale. Those who sit in the central committee will have to recuse themselves in cases involving their constituencies.
Though some regions have already delivered their verdicts, their decisions can be overturned.
The BDP constitution also gives any person who is not happy with the decision of the regional committee to appeal to the central committee within seven days of the decision of the regional committee being made known.
On Sunday, it was not yet clear on how many numbers of appeals and recommendations the central committee will decide on.
Even the party had not established that. The BDP communication spokesperson, Lesedi Dintwe told The Monitor that “the period for submission for appeals has not expired as such we cannot confirm the number of appeals to the central committee as some may submit in days to come”.
This is how some regions had made recommendations in some constituencies.
They have referred the case to the party central committee because the region did not understand how the head office decided to include 400 names, which party structures in that constituency had written that those names be removed.
In the primaries, the Assistant Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Itumeleng Moipisi lost to Talita Monnakgotla who garnered 2,139 votes against the incumbent’s 1,696. Moipisi’s appeal was referred to the central committee on that basis. The Western region’s Keorapetse Ralohika confirmed the decision.
The Western region ordered a rerun in Ghanzi South constituency. It arrived to its conclusion after it learnt that some names of other candidates were not displayed during the primary elections.
The matter, according to the chairperson, was reported even to structures on the day of elections. Thato Tshwenenyagae who was battling it out with
It is not yet clear whether any of the candidates protested the decision of the region.
Southwest region referred an appeal by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Patrick Ralotsia, to the party central committee because the region’s chairperson, Kenalemongwe Mopipi, was one of the contestants and they do not want to be seen to be influencing any decision.
The region says the central committee is best placed to take a decision on the matter. Ralotsia lost to businessman, Thapelo Letsholo who got 1,878 votes while Ralotsia had 1,398 votes. This was confirmed by the South West region chairperson, Mopipi and the Southern region chairperson, Selefha Ditshwane.
Tati West constituency
The North East region had ordered for a rerun after establishing that there was a contravention of Section 9 (a), of the BDP primary elections rules and regulations, thus bringing Section 9 (f) into effect. Simon Moabi had won the primary election with 2,519 against the Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness Biggie Butale who got 2,022 votes. Butale, the incumbent, had protested the results citing some irregularities that might have happened during election time. Moabi has seven days to appeal the decision to BDP central committee.
At the time of going to press, it was not clear as to what recommendations the region has made on its three constituencies where there were protests.
The BOMASE region recently told this publication that they had taken a resolution regarding Selebi-Phikwe East, which they could not disclose. The region chairperson, Kgomotso Mmereki said only Mmadinare and Bobonong constituencies protests were still pending. But late yesterday, The Monitor leant that the BOMASE region has not ordered rerun for Bobonong constituency. The final decision however still lies with the central committee.
In Bobonong, the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi lost to Francisco Kgoboko while Kefentse Mzwinila lost in the Mmadinare constituency.