Botswana Congress Party is rocked by internal divisions in the Selibe Phikwe West constituency following the expulsion of the area’s Member of Parliament, Dithapelo Keorapetse, together with four other MPs from the party.
At the centre of the controversy is a disagreement between the party president and party caders over the preferred candidate to replace Keorapetse.
Information gathered by this publication has indicated that party president, Dumelang Saleshando, seems to prefer Women’s League President, Tshimologo Dingake, over Reuben Kaizer who has been identified as some party members’ favourite.
Although a number of names have been thrown around, including Keineetse, Saleshando and Dumi Lopang of Botswana Democratic Party, party members are said to have refused to endorse those two arguing that they were political novices and therefore weak.
The members are said to be waiting for the BCP Saturday meeting in the area where they are to voice their concerns over the issue.
It is said that some are adamant that the party leadership must approach Keorapetse and seek his readmission, a request which has been apparently met with mixed reactions. Meanwhile, when contacted, Keorapetse said that he has not been approached for a possible readmission.
“I am also reliably informed that the party leadership wants at least two MPs, Kenny Kapinga of Okavango and Never Tshabang of Nkange constituencies back and specifically not me, and they don’t particularly prefer the other two MPs, David Tshere of Mahalapye west and Onneetse Ramogapi of Palapye constituencies either. I don’t know their reasons for this. I mean, if they honestly believe that the party has made a mistake on expulsion of members who are MPs and that it wants them back, it ought to be that they want all of them back, unless there’s an agenda being pursued that has no iota of good intention,” he said.
He also added that he has no issue with the BCP and did not resign from it, but he did not see any reason to seek readmission in a party that is on the verge of leaving UDC.
“Practically, BCP has left the coalition while it is still formally in the UDC. Only anti-floor crossing piece of legislation is holding them back,” Keorapetse said, adding that BCP has already contested two by-elections outside the UDC and has not hesitated to publicly disparage and degrade brand equity of the Umbrella.
The UDC won five council seats out of seven seats in Phikwe West and Keorapetse is apparently supported by three councillors out of the five.