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Big guns poised for BPF switch?

The Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) is reportedly set to bolster its ranks by once again dipping into the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) reserves.

Currently the Biggie Butale-led organisation boasts three Members of Parliament – the Serowe-based trio of Leepetswe Lesedi, Tshekedi Khama and Baratiwa Mathoothe.

By Wednesday morning the party had included 18 councillors amongst its members, with seven further arrivals expected to join from Serowe and Palapye imminently.

The BPF’s 57 Constituency Chairpersons are due to meet at the weekend, with the leading item on the agenda said to be the planning of a press conference to welcome the new arrivals.

As well as the councillors, those who will reportedly be welcomed into the ‘Ke Nako’ fold include political heavyweights: Ignatius Moswaane, Prince Maele and Mephato Reatile.

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According to a well-placed source within the party, another high profile BDP member, the MP for Nata/Gweta, Polson Majaga has also expressed interest in crossing the political divide.

However, the source claimed Majaga has been asked to wait until the conclusion of his defilement case, which is still before court.

“They feel the case may overshadow the whole excitement,” explained the insider.

When asked about the alleged looming arrivals, the BPF’s Secretary-General, Roselyn Panzirah Matshome was slightly vague in her response.

“As a party, we are constantly looking to grow and there is a lot of places for all Batswana concerned for the future of our country. We acknowledge that the rampant mismanagement and corruption especially evidenced with COVID -19 has shown many people and leaders that the country under Masisi is burning. Many want to join us. But at this point we cannot say that the people mentioned [Moswaane, Maele, Reatile] are joining the BPF. However, we would like them to join us,” Matshome told The Voice.

The Voice’s DANIEL CHIDA gives his expert opinion on the likelihood of Moswaane, Maele and Reatile being BPF bound.

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Ignatius Moswaane

The MP for Francistown West has been vocal on several national issues. His outbursts have been viewed by some as disrespectful to the party.

The maverick politician has never been afraid to speak his mind and put his people before the party – a trait that makes Moswaane extremely popular with his constituents but causes the BDP hierarchy to view him with a wary eye.

Currently, Moswaane can win Francistown West under any party ticket.

However, he insists he is not going anywhere, saying simply, “It’s a blue lie – I am not leaving BDP!”

Prince Maele

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The former MP for Lerala/Maunatlala and former Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services contested the 2019 elections as an Independent candidate after he was dismissed from the ruling party.

Maele

A close acquaintance to former President and BPF Patron, Ian Khama, on the surface Maele’s journey to BPF appears long overdue.

However, Maele maintains he has never indicated to anyone that he is joining the BPF.

“Although my friends from the BPF talk to me about joining them, I take it is not official because they don’t hold any positions in the party,” was his response when asked about supposed his ‘new home’.

Mephato Reatile

The MP for Jwaneng/ Mabutsane joined the BDP from Botswana National Front (BNF) during Khama’s tenure.

Indeed, he has a long, deep-rooted association with the former President – a relationship that has reportedly hindered his chances of getting a Cabinet call-up.

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Reatile

Although it would certainly not come as a surprise if he were to join BPF, Reatile has gone on record to dispel such talk.

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