BNF candidate queries Boko’s launch of former BMD councillor
Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) supporters in Lerala/Maunatlala constituency are up in arms over the launch of a Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) parliamentary candidate by the BNF president, Duma Boko.
The controversial launch occurred despite the general membership’s preferred choice of Bruce Jeremiah of Botswana National Front (BNF), much to the chagrin of UDC rank and file.
To express their displeasure, Constituency Chairman Kearata Madimabe wrote a letter to UDC National Executive Committee on behalf of the constituency seeking clarity on why the UDC president has endorsed Ketshogile when BMD is no longer part of them and before the pending case between the party and the Umbrella could be resolved.
The letter also indicated that Jeremiah was the preferred choice over Montwedi Mokhurutshe of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) who had also shown interest in being a parliamentary candidate under the UDC ticket.
Ketshogile, who is the incumbent Lerala East councilor, joined BMD in 2017 after he was expelled from Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Speaking to The Voice in an interview, Ketshogile said he is a member of UDC in good standing as an individual not as a member of any contracting party, so he does not understand where the confusion was emanating from.
He explained that after BMD was expunged from the umbrella, he wrote a letter to UDC asking to continue under their ticket in his individual capacity.
“I am currently a councillor under UDC not BMD and the National Executive Committee has approved it. Jeremiah is new in politics; he only acquired his BNF membership in December last year so he should just sit down. I won BMD primaries last year before BMD exited the UDC. This is not the time for fights. October is tomorrow so we need to be united as comrades in the struggle to win this constituency. I am tirelessly working to ensure that UDC wins,” said Ketshogile.
He also dismissed rumours that the UDC was contemplating replacing him with suspended BDP MP, Prince Maele, as ‘corridor talk’.
He said he has already covered a lot of ground in his campaign, so he would not step down for Maele if he happened to join UDC.
Jeremiah however argued that UDC procedure was flouted when selecting Ketshogile to represent the constituency in the October general elections.
He said after BMD was expelled from UDC it was agreed that other parties within the coalition could field candidates that were originally reserved for BMD.
He warned this decision is going to bring confusion, divide UDC members and split the vote in Lerala/ Maunatlala
“Already constituents are asking if BMD is now working with UDC. The constituency chairman sent a letter via email to UDC Vice President Dumelang Saleshando last month and they haven’t responded to that letter yet. He tried following up with a phone call and the UDC NEC is ignoring his calls. On the 19th of April we got a call from UDC Secretary General, Moeti Mohwasa informing us that the president, Duma Boko is coming to our constituency and that we should prepare for his visit. We were shocked when the following day, Mohwasa told us that Boko had decided that Ketshogile handle the president’s visit. I am also campaigning under UDC until the NEC resolves this issue,” concluded Jeremiah defiantly