Tempers flare up in BNF Lobatse constituency

The Botswana National Front (BNF) central committee (CC) is set to address issues in the Lobatse constituency, where elections have been postponed for the second time.
The Botswana National Front (BNF) central committee (CC) is set to address issues in the Lobatse constituency, where elections have been postponed for the second time.

The Botswana National Front (BNF) central committee (CC) is set to address issues in the Lobatse constituency, where elections have been postponed for the second time.

The Lobatse BNF constituency has faced numerous controversies, including threats of violence against election officers. Primaries were recently cancelled after party members locked the secretary-general in his office, accusing him of election interference. Supporters of the two candidates, James Mathokgwane and Jamal Jacobs, are deeply divided, with some threatening violence if the elections proceed without addressing their concerns. This situation has caused a concern within the BNF, as they have never faced the postponement of primary elections twice, necessitating a third rescheduling. According to a source, the BNF central committee must decide on the conduct and date of these elections. "This matter was brought to the central committee last month and is expected to be discussed next week. Only the Lobatse constituency has not held its primary elections," the source said.

The BNF spokesperson, Tumelo Legase, confirmed that the central committee will meet soon regarding the Lobatse matter. "Of course, as a party, we are concerned about the issue since the party's reputation has been tarnished. We must also acknowledge irregularities in the voters' roll, with some names omitted. Additionally, there were concerns about some members not residing in Lobatse, which the Electoral Board will address. However, not all allegations raised by complaints are necessarily correct. We aim for fair and free elections as a party," he said. He explained that the party is most concerned about the potential for violence, which threatens to disrupt peace and cause instability. He further stated that there is no truth to the claims of interference by party leadership, rather, some members are attempting to bypass party rules and regulations to get their way.

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