Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) have completed negotiations on the sharing of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) constituencies and are now in a position to show who their candidates would be.
Ignoring that there is a pending BMD court case to dispense with, the two parties that form the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) together with Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) have allotted themselves the seats that they had given BMD before expelling it.
When contacted for comment UDC Publicity Secretary Moeti Mohwasa could not be drawn into discussing the matter pending the official announcement by the party. One source in the UDC revealed that the sharing of BMD constituencies is going smooth between the contracting members between, adding that the parties seem to be happy with the process with some of the vacant posts earmarked for the BPP as well.
The constituency has been source of controversy with BCP and BNF not agreeing on which partner shall take the constituency. In the 2014 elections BMD won the seat through Dr Phenyo Butale with 4 601votes against BCP president Dumelang Saleshando who garnered 3 727. BDP's Rupert Hambira got 3 191 votes. Butale, who is now with the Alliance for Progressives, will battle out for it with Dr Mpho Pheko of the BCP.
This a constituency that was allocated to BMD president Sydney Pilane who will now wrestle for it against BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi and the incumbent MP Haskins Nkaigwa. Nkaigwa was fielded to contest for the constituency for UDC following his recent move to the coalition after he dumped the Alliance for Progressives.
Dr Tlamelo Mmatli, the incumbent MP was allocated the constituency under the BMD banner and though it has been anticipated that he will retrace his steps back to the UDC, the coalition has not settled on anyone yet.
Gaborone Bonnington South
The recent roping in of trade unionist and BOFEPUSU Deputy Secretary General, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, is viewed by many as the big score for the UDC which faces the mammoth task of retaining one of Gaborone constituencies that the party won in 2014.
Motshwega, who joined UDC last week under BNF banner, will contest for the constituency against the incumbent area MP Ndaba Gaolatlhe who is also the president of AP. The duo will be joined in by the BDP's Chris Nthuba on contesting for the constituency.
UDC has fielded Gilbert Watshipi - a BNF cadre - with the hopes of wrestling the constituency from the ruling BDP. Watshipi has served as the BNF treasure in the constituency since 2015. Little known in the politics space Watshipi will be facing another new incomer in BDP's Naniki Makwinja who defeated the incumbent area MP Vincent Seretse in their party's primary elections.
UDC has turned to little known Orapeleng Digga Kakoma to take on BDP's Dr Thapelo Matsheka and BMD's Nehemiah Modubule.
The constituency has been for some time the center of controversy in the party with BMD showing displeasure in the fielding of BCP president Dumelang Saleshando. Maun West was allocated to BMD and it was won by the incumbent Kgosi Tawana Moremi under BMD banner in the 2014 elections.
Tawana has since resigned from the coalition; BCP has to rope in Saleshando after the party gave away its Francistown West to BMD. Saleshando will fight for the constituency against Reaoboka Mbulawa of the ruling BDP. Mbulawa was beaten by Batawana paramount Kgosi Tawana Moremi who garnered 7271 votes against Mbulawa's 5335 in the 2014 general election
Since the constitution was given to BMD after the BCP exchanged if for Maun West, the party is yet to field the candidate with speculations being rife that the coalition might still opt for Mamela to represent the party. BCP National Organising Secretary-north and the then Francistown West Parliamentary hopeful, Vain Mamela has been dealt a heavy blow following a decision by his party to swap constituencies with Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).
Former Kgatleng District Council Chairman Tona Mooketsi will represent the party in Mochudi West, a seat currently held by BMD Secretary General, Gilbert Mangole.
UDC is yet to identify candidates for the constituency. UDC won F\Town South in the 2014 elections with Wynter Mmolotsi now at AP garnering 5 261 votes against BDP Sylvia Muzila with 3 289 and Vain Memela of BCP registering 1 511 votes.
Lt. General Gaolalthwe Galebotswe, former commander of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), has been roped in by the UDC to represent the party in Mogoditshane. Mogoditshane constituency was won by Sedirwa Kgoroba who is also at AP and with the constituency being allocated to BMD the party had already fielded in the former BDP youth league member Bruce Nkgakile. BMD will be represented by Nkgakile in the constituency against Tumiso Rakgare of BCP with UDC is yet to field the candidate.