Mmadinare MP accused of decampaigning successor
All is not well in the Mmadinare constituency as the outgoing Member of Parliament who is also Minister of Land Management; Water & Sanitation Services is accused of running a parallel campaign against the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidate.
Sources within the BDP allege that Mzwinila, who lost in the primary elections to Molebatsi Molebatsi, has assembled a team of councillors and some party operatives to run a parallel campaign. “There are allegations that he intends to contest as an independent parliamentary candidate and has therefore created a rift between Molebatsi and some council candidates. This is causing confusion in the constituency,” revealed a source.
Worried BDP members in the constituency are said to have reported the matter to Vice President Slumber Tsogwane who promised to address the issue. On Monday National Campaign manager Tebelelo Seretse addressed a meeting in Sefhope where she was allegedly informed that Mzwinila is running a parallel campaign and distributing t-shirts. He is alleged to have informed BDP members in the constituency that BDP President Mokgweetsi Masisi has allowed him to launch his own campaign as they are not sure if Molebatsi will ditch the party for the newly formed Ian Khama led Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).
Contacted for comment, Mzwinila denied ever campaigning against Molebatsi and stated that he is a BDP member in good standing and is rallying behind the party candidate in the constituency. “I have never run any parallel campaign; this is just a lie which is aimed at tarnishing my name. I have made it clear that I am committed to the BDP and I am fully behind President Masisi and all BDP parliamentary candidates” he said, confirming that he was aware of the meeting in Sefhope but could not attend it as he had other engagements in Gaborone.
Another democrat who has been accused of running a parallel campaign is the former campaign manager for Mzwinila, specially nominated councillor Dineo Seosupeng who also flatly denied the accusations. “That is a total lie because I am part of the campaign team for Molebatsi and currently we are preparing for his launch,” she said.
Asked if she attended the Sefhope meeting, Seosupeng answered in affirmative and confirmed that the issue was raised but dismissed by majority of people. “It was found that the allegations were unfounded and peddled by people who are hell-bent of bringing instability within the constituency,” she said.
Seosupeng let the cat out of the bag and revealed some instability in the constituency when she told The Patriot on Sunday that Molebatsi is the one who does not want to meet Mzwinila to resolve any differences so that the latter can help him with campaigns. “After he (Molebatsi) asked me to help in the campaign I advised him to approach Mzwinila because he garnered a good number during the primary elections but he has not done that,” she revealed.
Molebatsi refused to be drawn into the issue but only confirmed about the meeting with the national campaign manager and referred the publication to the party secretariat.
In the BDP Primaries Molebatsi garnered 2783 votes while Mzwinila got 2276 votes. Barulaganyi Mogotsi was another candidate. In the 2014 general elections Mzwinila whitewashed Christopher Motsholapheko of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) when he was voted by 7325 with the former getting 3117.
In the October general elections Molebatsi will face Joseph Bagwasi of the opposition coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).