Botswana: Moswaane for Bpp Presidency?

19 January 2021

Francistown West maverick MP Ignatius Moswaane is eyeing the presidency of Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) as BPP vice president Lenyatso Mbaakanyi is set to join Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

The informants inside the BPP have revealed to this publication that Mbaakanyi who is said to be not in good terms with BPP and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leadership is on his way out.

Moswaane since joining the UDC last year is said to be not in good relationship with Mbaakanyi who felt that he might sacrificed by the UDC leadership ahead of 2024 elections for Moswaane.

That being the case, incumbent Francistown West MP is ready to take over as BPP leader from the outgoing veteran BPP President Motlatsi Molapise on a condition that Moswaane joins BPP.

The BPP, the oldest political party in Botswana has been embroiled in the leadership brawl for some time with the BPP leader Molapisi said not to be happy with Mbaakanyi being president.

"Lenyatso is not happy with both BPP and UDC leadership and since after 2019 elections he has not been active in attending BPP NEC meetings. He decried of sabotage by UDC leadership and he has shown the intentions to quit UDC and rejoin the BDP in near future," confided the source.

Prior to general elections, BPP suspended Mbaakanyi but he disregarded the party's decision as he continued with contesting the elections and lost to Moswaane who contested under the BDP.

He also turned out to be the only UDC parliamentary candidate not to be launched by the party under its staged magnificent 2019 campaigns hence he accused UDC leadership for sabotaging him.

In an interview on Thursday, Mbaakanyi said he has taken the decision to quit the BPP and UDC.

He confirmed that ruling BDP is recruiting him and he hasn't taken any decision on joining BDP.

According to him he is still on consultation with his people on what would be his way forward.

"I have parted ways with BPP and in broader the UDC. This is based on personal decision and I cannot say I have been pushed out. I look at my own decisions and I don't want to put blame on anyone over my exit from UDC. I need time to introspect alone as an individual," said Mbaakanyi.

The outspoken Mbaakanyi however could not been drawn in discussing the possibilities of his 2019 parliamentary rival Moswaane joining BPP as its president noting he is not aware of that.

"Political organisations have a way of running their affairs. And as a politician and member of a certain party if things are not going the way I would have loved then I have to leave to avoid the unnecessary arguments. Some will enjoy the way things are done and others wouldn't," he said.

BPP demise

Political analyst Lesole Machacha said the current power scuffle in BPP as well as the imminent departure of a high quality politician such as Mbaakanyi will mark the death of BPP in 2024 polls.

He noted that it was so clear that UDC would prefer Moswaane to be its candidate in the 2024 elections therefore Mbaakanyi would feel undermined and this would lead to factions in UDC.

"The BPP has been struggling for so long and the party just redeemed its pride under UDC. The Francistown West has been the stronghold of the party as BPP was born there. This fracas may dent the UDC chances of winning the constituency. The UDC conflicts need congress," he said.

According to him, the incumbency of Moswaane is currently a boost to UDC but also it will still depend if Moswaane's popularity to voters while he was at BDP remains the same at opposition.

He added that UDC would lose a political firebrand in Mbaakanyi when he joins the ruling party.

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