FRANCISTOWN: Botswana People's Party (BPP) vice president Mbaakanyi Lenyatso is said to have relocated from Borolong village to Gerald Estates in a bid to thwart any efforts to stop him from contesting the Francistown West constituency in the 2024 general elections.
There are those who believe that the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), an affiliate of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), wants to strategically muscle the constituency from the BPP and give it to incumbent, Member of Parliament (MP) Ignatius Moswaane.
The BPP, together with the Botswana National Front (BNF), are also affiliates of the UDC. Lenyatso lost to Moswaane at the 2019 general elections.
In addition, there have been concerns that staying in Borolong was amongst factors that led to Lenyatso’s loss in the last general elections, as some voters did not view him as a local.
It is reported that Lenyatso’s recent move is directly meant to counter veiled calls from some of the BCP members who deeply want him to pave way for Moswaane as they believe that the latter is a well known and an established resident of Francistown West.
For the aforementioned reasons, the concerned BCP followers believe Moswaane stands a better chance of bringing the constituency to the UDC at the 2024 general elections than Lenyatso.
Lenyatso is also said to have lined up a few activities in Francistown West, amongst them seminars in a bid to consolidate and drum up support for his campaign for the 2024 general elections.
The BPP has openly vowed to oppose efforts to allow Moswaane to contest the 2024 elections under the BCP banner. The party argues that it was officially allocated the constituency by the UDC.
Yesterday, Lenyatso confirmed that he has since relocated to Gerald Estates but denied that the
“I relocated to Gerald Estates because I want to catch up with members of my campaign team for the last general elections. Francistown West is also one of the poverty-stricken areas in the city. I want to help to empower people in the area by doing business consultations and other empowerment initiatives. The people in Francistown West deserve to be empowered in order for them to lead meaningful lives,” he said.
Lenyatso maintained that the BPP would not allow Moswaane to contest the next general elections in the UDC under the BCP banner. He said that if Moswaane wants to contest the general elections at UDC he would have to join the BPP and go through the primaries.
Moswaane has confirmed that he will join the UDC. He however, said that he would be joining the UDC directly instead of joining the coalition through the BCP as speculated. “To the best of my understanding, members can directly join the UDC without going through its affiliate parties. I am utilising that clause,” he said.
But sources have said that Moswaane intends to represent the BCP (under the UDC) at the next general elections.
Lenyatso also added that he is not aware of a clause that allows interested members to join the UDC directly, instead of joining through individual parties.