Alliance for Progressives (AP) Secretary General, Dr Phenyo Butale and party Chairman, Major General Pius Mokgware as well as Gaborone North Member of Parliament (MP) Haskins Nkaigwa are making beeline to solicit the defection of Molepolole South parliamentary aspirant, Shima Monageng, this publication can reveal today.
Monageng lodged a complaint with the central committee of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in the wake of his loss in the party primaries to friend-turned-foe, Kabo Morwaeng at the end of January.
The Monageng-Alliance for Progressives (AP) talks-about-talks have been going on at a time when the BDP committee tasked with adjudicating the primary election complaints is yet to release its report.
This publication has been made to understand that the Monageng camp has a pessimistic outlook with regards to the looming result of their complaint.
Besides the three AP Members of Parliament, Global Post has been made aware of another regular, but unsolicited visitor to Monageng Valuers-the offices of Monageng’s real estate business in the vicinity of Gaborone Senior School Grounds in Gaborone Central.
Dr Tlamelo Mmatli of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and incumbent MP for Molepolole South is said to frequent Monageng’s offices with intention to solicit his support for his candidacy.
“He comes here regularly. He would say things like if he had lost a chance to contest in his party, he had intended backing the candidacy of Monageng, hence Monageng should be supporting him,” a source close to the developments told this publication.
This publication also has it in good authority that Dr Mmatli’s overtures have been spurned and a decision by the Monageng camp on whether to jump ship or not will be sealed this week.
This publication previously ran a story indicating that Monageng might run as an independent candidate in next year’s General Elections.
The Global Post reported that Monageng called a meeting of his closely knit campaign team on the 21st January this year, a day after he was defeated in Bulela Ditswe, the BDP primary elections.
The meeting was held at his home in Lekgwapheng ward in Molepolole around lunch time where he laid out a blueprint for his electioneering post his disastrous defeat the previous night.
Monageng, also a well to do businessman, is alleged to have told those present that if he does not succeed in overturning the result, he will go at it alone next year.
Sources in the constituency also told this publication that Monageng believed he has the right pedigree and has been loyal to the party and constituency since 2003.
The AP seeks to increase the number of its parliamentary aspirants and runners.
In Monageng, it sees a hardboiled politician who has a wide name recognition, structures and a large following through whom it can wrestle the constituency from the ruling party.
Mokgware, who is also MP for Gabane-Mmankgodi confirmed that Monageng is one of the people who they have been talking to.
He says they have however, not been able to finalise the discussions, noting that it is important to keep the talks under wraps so as not to deter other possible recruits.
Monageng also confirmed AP’s overtures but stated that since he has not yet received the verdict, he can only wait. “It’s true, they have approached me. But it is not only AP. They told me they see my capability and loyalty, but I told them that loyalty still stands. I cannot take decisions as yet. I’ll cross the bridge when I get there. But otherwise, it’s true, a high level delegation had come here.”