Botswana: BDP Councillor Resigns, Joins BPP

The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councillor for Kanana ward in Francistown West constituency, Cornelius Gopolang has re-joined Botswana People's Party.

Gopolang grew up as BPP activist but decided to jump ship in 2006 after a political pact of opposition parties failed. He then joined the ruling BDP and was elected as councillor for Kanana ward. Gopolang tried his luck during BDP primary elections popularly known as Bulela Ditswe last year in Francistown West but he lost to the incumbent MP, the controversial Ignatius Moswaane. Gopolang was one of the contestants that strongly believed that Moswaane cheated them as the polls were marred by irregularities that led to his loss. He did not launch a formal protest with party leadership.

A source within the BPP told this publication that the party leadership has hatched a plan to recruit Gopolang. "Gopolang has agreed to join the BPP as he has been promised that he will replace the current UDC parliamentary candidate in Francistown West, Mbaakanyi Lenyatso who is also BPP vice president. The relationship between Lenyatso and BPP president, Motlatsi Molapisi has deteriorated," the source claimed. He further alleged that Gopolang and two others were supposed to be officially welcomed into the BPP at Tati Siding this week but the press conference was called off at the eleven hour.

Molapisi confirmed that Gopolang has re-joined the party. "We have welcomed councillor Gopolang back to the BPP together with former BDP activist, Lesego Mbereki," he said.

Gopolang told this publication in an interview that BPP has approached him in an effort to lure him to retrace his steps back to his childhood party. "Yes I can confirm that BPP leadership has been in contact with me, persuading me to re-join the party," he told the Patriot on Sunday. Gopolang further said even other political parties such as Botswana Patriotic Front has also tried to poach him into their fold. Since politics is a game of numbers, Gopolang said many political parties are always trying to recruit new members that can add valued to such political organizations. He added that there are prospects of him returning to the BPP as dynamics in politics keeps on evolving. He added, "I will make a decision about my political future before July 15. I must inform you that I do not have any intensions of contesting for the upcoming general elections," said the former BPP secretary general.

He noted that currently the ruling BDP is embroiled in internal squabbles that have led to the formation of another break away party, Botswana Patriotic Front. Gopolang mentioned that the current feud between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor, Ian Khama is having a negative impact on the BDP. He is of the view that the two leaders should have a meeting and resolve their differences in a civilized manner.

Another BDP councillor for Monarch West, Godfrey Kaelo resigned from the BDP and he is headed to BPF. Kaelo lost primary elections to the youthful, Scara Almando. Kaelo argued that he lost the polls because some of his supporters were removed from the voters roll to orchestrate his defeat.

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