By: John Regonamanye
The Gaborone region of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party over the weekend hosted party president Ian Khama at which meeting they vented a raft of challenges.
The region told President Khama they needed resources and also reforms if they were to capture constituencies held by Umbrella for Democratic Change in 2019.
The Telegraph understands Gaborone region committee made it explicitly clear to the president that party resources should be tilted in their favour.
“Take for example Gaborone Central contested by BCP’s president Dumelang Saleshando, UDC president Duma Boko for Gaborone Bonnington North, BMD president Ndaba Gaolathe for Gaborone Bonnington South. Their supporters will pull all the stops to ensure their party leaders win by all costs including through voter trafficking,” a BDP member who attended said.
He said while the ruling party always fielded candidates for all the 57 constituencies, the opposition does not do the same instead preferring to traffic voters from where they had not fielded any candidates to leverage their leaders support in their respective Gaborone region constituencies.
“This one-size-fits-all of party resources comes at a disadvantage for us,” he said, calling for at least two campaign vehicles to be afforded Gaborone region instead of one.
Party primaries are a big concern for Gaborone region as losers do not amicably accept the result.
The region is therefore pushing to hold primary elections earlier than other constituencies.
“This we argued will give those involved time to digest the result and eventually heal in time for the national elections,” he added.
Contacted for comment Gaborone region committee Secretary Kingsley Kgomoyarona confirmed the meeting, insisting however the contributions were internal and not meant for public consumption.
“I can however confirm a smooth sailing meeting with our party president who thanked us for thinking out of the box. We suggested our challenges and strategies to winning and retaining Gaborone region constituencies and eventually winning the 2019 national elections,” Kgomoyarona said.
“The president was happy with our suggestions and gave us a leeway to brainstorm and strategise. We are having a meeting on November 28th after which our strategic plans will be presented to the central committee on December 7th chaired by the president. Maybe that is when the public could thereafter learn of the outcome,” he added on interview.