BPP’s early campaigns stir UDC upheaval

Some UDC partners have accused the BPP of engaging in covert campaign activities in select wards
Some UDC partners have accused the BPP of engaging in covert campaign activities in select wards

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana People's Party (BPP) finds itself at the centre of controversy as allegations have surfaced regarding the party’s illegal campaign activities ahead of the finalisation of allocation of council wards for the 2024 General Election by the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

According to insiders, the allocation of council wards within the UDC has hit a roadblock, and the process has been halted indefinitely. This pause is reportedly intended to facilitate discussions amongst the coalition partners on the new rules that will guide the distribution of wards with a view of attaining equity. However, amidst the uncertainty, speculation has began to spread of BPP members venturing into the campaign territory before the allocation has been finalised. This has caused acrimony amongst other UDC parties, the Botswana National Front, Botswana Patriotic Front and Alliance for Progressives (AP). Some UDC partners have accused the BPP of engaging in covert campaign activities in select wards. Yet other parties in the UDC are reportedly interested in contesting in wards where the BPP is campaigning. One of the wards in question is Botsalano in Francistown West.

The AP reportedly wants to field a candidate at the ward, but the BPP considers the area one of its strongholds. Rumours have swirled of clandestine meetings, door-to-door canvassing, and the distribution of promotional materials by the BPP, all in blatant disregard for the agreed-upon procedures within the UDC, that parties will campaign once allocation has been completed. The parties believe the move by the BPP is intended to obstruct the allocation process. This week, BPP secretary-general, Tiroyaone Ntsima did not reject the allegations that the party has started embarking in early campaigns in some wards. He said there are several reasons why the BPP has started campaigning in some wards before the allocation has been brought to finality. “The campaigns are in wards located in the six constituencies where we will contest the 2024 General Election as allocated by the UDC.

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