Opposition party, Alliance for Progressives (AP) will field a candidate in the upcoming by-election in the Moselewapula ward in Francistown West constituency.
The council seat fell vacant after the death of former deputy mayor, Lechedzani Modenga in February. AP Francistown regional chairman, Jonathan Thembo confirmed to this publication during an interview that they intend to field a candidate in the upcoming by-election at a date yet to be announced. “I can confirm that we have the intention to field a candidate in the Moselewapula ward. The Francistown West Branch Committee has written a letter to the region informing us that they have identified a candidate in the ward,” Thembo noted. He revealed that as the regional committee they enquired whether party members in the constituency were consulted about the decision to field a candidate and they were answered in the affirmative.
Thembo emphasized that they have approved the candidate and they have since written to the central committee seeking their approval. Even though Thembo did not want to reveal the name of their candidate, Global Post has it in good authority that the candidate is Odireleng Ditshoto. The latter is the former Botswana Movement for Democracy candidate in the ward. He lost to the late Modenga during the 2014 general elections. Thembo indicated that their candidate is well known in Moselewapula as he once contested the general elections under the UDC.
Still in Moselewapula, the BCP will hold primary elections on the 14th of April. The party’s National Organizing Secretary, Vain Mamela noted that all interested candidates will submit their nominations on the 29th of March. “So far four people have shown interest to contest the primary elections. The four are Gilbert Makombo, Reuben Kethoilwe, Maxwell Motsu and Chimbise Chimbise,” He added.
Kethoilwe represented the party during the 2009 and 2014 general elections and lost. Veteran politician, Motsu tried his luck in Ntshe ward during the last general elections and lost as well. Political novice, Chimbise once tried his luck during primary elections in the build up to the 2014 elections and was unsuccessful. Makombo is currently the party’s branch chairman in the constituency. Mamela lamented that after holding primary elections, they will formally inform their coalition partners within the UDC so that they can actively participate in campaigns in an attempt to rustle the ward from the ruling BDP.
The BDP is yet to announce the date to hold primary elections as they are still mourning the demise of their councillor, Modenga. It is said more than nine BDP activists have shown interest to contest the primary elections popularly known as Bulela Ditswe. Francistown West constituency is a stronghold for the BDP as currently all councillors are from the ruling party. Therefore the opposition will have to work extra hard to win the by-election.